Skip to main content

Full text of "Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre"

See other formats











The Royal City of Susa 

La fileuse (Lady spinning), bitumen compound, Neo-Elamite period, 8th~7th century B.C.; Number 141 

The Royal City of Susa 


Edited by 


Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 

This volume is published in conjunction with the exhibition The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre 
held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from November 17, 1992, to March 7, 1993. 

The exhibition is made possible by the Shumei Family. 

It has been organized with the cooperation of the Musee du Louvre. 

Additional support has been provided by Linda Noe Laine, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the 

Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. 

The exhibition catalogue is made possible by a generous grant from The Hagop Kevorkian Fund. 

Copyright © 1992 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
JOHN p. o'neill, Editor in Chief 
ruth lurie kozodoy, Editor 
abby Goldstein, Designer 
peter antony, Production 

Photographs of the catalogued objects by Oi-Cheong Lee and Joseph Coscia, Jr., The Photograph Studio, The Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, except Numbers 109 and 169 by Service de Restauration des Musees de France; Numbers 105, 106, and 107 detail 
by John Tsarites, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; and Numbers 39, 41, and 107. 
For a complete list of illustration credits, see page 316. 

Maps by Wilhelmina Reyinga-Amrhein 
Drawings of the sealings Numbers 18, 21, 22, 23, 47, 76, 187, and 188 by Jo Ann Wood 
Translations from the French by Gila Walker, except Conservation Report and Annie Caubet's Preface by Chantal Combes 

Typeset by Trufont Typographers, Inc. 
Printed and bound by Arti Grafiche Motta, S.p.A., Milan 

Jacket: Guard, glazed brick, Achaemenid period, late 6th century B.C.; Number 155 


Musee du Louvre. 
The Royal city of Susa : ancient Near Eastern treasures in the 
Louvre / edited by Prudence O. Harper, Joan Aruz, and Francoise Tallon. 

p. cm. 
Exhibition catalog. 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN 0-87099-651-7. — ISBN 0-87099-652-5 (pbk.)— ISBN 0-8109-6422-8 (Abrams) 
1. Art, Ancient — Middle East — Exhibitions. 2. Art — Middle East — 
Exhibitions. 3. Musee du Louvre — Exhibitions. I. Harper, 

Prudence Oliver. II. Aruz, Joan. III. Tallon, Francoise. 
IV Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N. Y.) V. Title. 
N5336.F8P36 1992 

709'. 35— dczo 92-28330 




by Philippe de Montebello 

by Prudence O. Harper and Annie Caubet 

MAPS xiv 


An Introduction to the History of Art in Iran; The French Scientific Delegation in Persia; A History of 
Excavation at Susa: Personalities and Archaeological Methodologies 

by Pierre Amiet, Nicole Chevalier, and Elizabeth Carter 

The Cemetery of Susa: An Interpretation; Susa I Pottery; Objects of Bitumen Compound and Terracotta; 

Late Susa I Glyptic: Ritual Imagery, Practical Use 

by Elizabeth Carter, Frank Hole, Zainab Bahrani, Agnes Spycket, and Joan Aruz 

The Late Uruk Period; Notes on the Early History of Writing in Iran; The Two Archaic Deposits; 
Contemporary Sculpture; The Proto-Elamite Period; Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings 

by Elizabeth Carter, Holly Pittman, Agnes Benoit, Zainab Bahrani, and Matthew W. Stolper 


Early-Third-Millennium Sculpture; The Monuments of Puzur-Inshushinak; Objects of the Late Third and 
Early Second Millennium; Vessels of Bitumen Compound; Seals of the Old Elamite Period 

by Elizabeth Carter, Zainab Bahrani, Beatrice Andre-Salvini, Annie Caubet, Frangoise Tallon, Joan Aruz, 

and Odile Deschesne 


Royal and Religious Structures and Their Decoration; Stone Sculpture; Metal, Clay, and Ivory Sculpture; 
The 'Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" from the Inshushinak Temple Precinct; Small Finds: Sculptures and Seals 

by Elizabeth Carter, Suzanne Heim, Agnes Benoit, Joan Aruz, Frangoise Tallon, Agnes Spycket, 
Annie Caubet, Loic Hurtel, Prudence O. Harper, and Zainab Bahrani 


Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa 

by Prudence 0. Harper and Pierre Amiet 

Terracotta Figurines 

by Agnes Spycket 


Sculpture; Glazed Objects and the Elamite Glaze Industry; Seals 

by Elizabeth Carter, Oscar White Muscarella, Matthew W, Stolper, Suzanne Heim, and Joan Aruz 


Achaemenid Art and Architecture at Susa; Sculpture; Achaemenid Brick Decoration; The Achaemenid Tomb 

on the Acropole 

by Oscar White Muscarella, Annie Caubet, and Frangoise Tallon 


Cuneiform Texts from Susa; Historical, Economic, and Legal Texts; Literary, Ritual, and Mathematical Texts 

by Matthew W. Stolper and Beatrice Andre-Salvini 


Shell, Ivory, and Bone Artifacts; Conservation Report 

by Annie Caubet, Brigitte Bourgeois, and Jean-Frangois de Laperouse 

INDEX 307 


The antiquities found during the French excavations at 
Susa over the last hundred years, which are now in the 
Louvre, include some of the masterpieces of ancient 
Near Eastern art. A selection of these objects comes to 
the Metropolitan Museum under fortuitous circum- 
stances: a loan exhibition, initiated by our Depart- 
ment of Ancient Near Eastern Art, is taking place 
while the great collection of ancient Near Eastern art at 
the Louvre undergoes a comprehensive reinstallation. 
In a joint undertaking by the curatorial departments of 
Near Eastern art and archaeology and the conservation 
staffs of the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum, 
Elamite and Mesopotamian works found at Susa were 
restored and photographed in both institutions prepar- 
atory to their display in New York. After the exhibi- 
tion the antiquities will return for permanent installa- 
tion in new galleries prepared for them in Paris. 

As the art of the ancient Near East takes a significant 
place in both public and private collections and be- 
comes better known to the general public as well as to 
students, visitors to the Museum have sought to fa- 
miliarize themselves with the cultures that developed 
in this part of the Asian continent. The current exhibi- 
tion and catalogue are a response to that growing 
interest and curiosity. 

Susa's location in southwestern Iran between the 
kingdoms and states of Mesopotamia to the west and 
the highland powers of inland Iran to the east contrib- 
uted to the city's importance, several thousand years 
ago, as a strategic intercultural center and a royal seat 
of both Elamite and Persian Achaemenid kings. The 
works in the exhibition were chosen with the intention 
of illustrating major cultural and historical develop- 

ments as well as some of the extraordinary technical 
and artistic achievements of ancient man. 

The authors of this catalogue, both American and 
French, bring to its readers the current state of knowl- 
edge in the field. Much has been learned since the 
earliest excavations of Jacques de Morgan and Roland 
de Mecquenem in the late nineteenth and early twen- 
tieth centuries. Nevertheless, much credit belongs to 
those pioneers in archaeological investigation and 
to the achievements of the Delegation Scientifique 
Franchise en Perse, established by the French govern- 
ment in 1897. 

A great many people have contributed to making 
this exhibition and its catalogue possible. We are 
grateful to all of them and especially to Prudence Q 
Harper for her dedicated coordination of the entire 

As always, an exhibition of this magnitude could 
not have been realized without important financial 
assistance. We are, therefore, extremely indebted to 
the Shumei Family for its generous endorsement of 
this exhibition and to The Hagop Kevorkian Fund for 
its support of the accompanying catalogue. Additional 
funding was provided by the National Endowment for 
the Arts and by an indemnity from the Federal Coun- 
cil on the Arts and the Humanities. Finally, Linda Noe 
Laine granted further support for this project in loving 
memory of her parents, Governor and Mrs. James A. 
Noe of Monroe, Louisiana. 


The Metropolitan Museum of Art 



Ideas for an exhibition come from many different 
sources. In this case, recent archaeological fieldwork 
and art-historical research, as well as the anticipated 
reinstallation of the Louvre's superb collection of an- 
cient Near Eastern art, all served as catalysts. The idea, 
which took shape in 1989, soon became a proposal to 
the Louvre that a significant group of antiquities exca- 
vated by French archaeological missions at Susa, in 
southwestern Iran, come to the Metropolitan Mu- 
seum as a special exhibition. The loan would bring to 
this country, for the first time, a wide range of works 
of art made in many parts of the ancient world over a 
period of some 3500 years. 

It was with few reservations that I approached Annie 
Caubet, head of the Departement des Antiquites Ori- 
entales, with this proposal. The relationship between 
the departments of ancient Near Eastern art of the 
Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum had always 
been a close one. During Vaughn Crawford's tenure as 
curator at the Metropolitan, Director Thomas E E 
Hoving and the Direction des Musees de France 
brought together fragments of a major Mesopotamian 
work of art that is now on display alternately in the two 
museums: the head of the ruler Ur-Ningirsu (ca. 2100 
B.C.), owned by the Metropolitan Museum, was joined 
to the body, in the collection of the Louvre. In recent 
years the collaborative relationship has been continued 
by Pierre Amiet of the Louvre, whose meticulous 
analysis of the vast collection of works of art excavated 
at Susa was one of the chief sources of inspiration for 
this exhibition. 

With the benefit of studies by M. Amiet and of 
modern archaeological research as carried out at Susa 
by the distinguished French archaeologist Jean Perrot 
and his teams, we can now reconstruct with greater 
accuracy the history and culture of Elamite and 
Achaemenid Iran. To present this new knowledge 
through the works of art excavated at Susa and pre- 

served in the Louvre has been the object of this exhibi- 
tion and its accompanying catalogue. 

Continuously occupied for almost five thousand 
years, Susa was destroyed and pillaged more than once 
by avenging armies; consequently, reconstruction of 
the archaeological record is difficult. Opinions differ 
concerning Elamite chronology, culture, and lan- 
guage, and this diversity is to some extent reflected in 
the present catalogue, written by a number of French 
and American scholars. Many of the authors worked at 
Susa with the archaeologists Roman Ghirshman and 
Jean Perrot in the 1960s and 1970s and are specialists 
who have devoted considerable time to analysis of the 
structures and artifacts excavated there. 

The curatorial staffs of the departments of ancient 
Near Eastern art of both the Metropolitan Museum 
and the Louvre have directed their attention to ques- 
tions of iconography and style, of form and purpose, 
in a detailed consideration of the objects in this cata- 
logue. Their work has been complemented by the 
technical examination and analysis of many of the 
works of art coordinated by Brigitte Bourgeois, curator 
of the Service de Restauration des Musees de France, 
and other scientific advisors who are named below and 
in the catalogue text. In a unique collaborative effort 
between the two museums, some of the monuments 
were studied, restored, and cleaned in New York by 
Jean-Francois de Laperouse, Objects Conservator 
for Near Eastern antiquities at the Metropolitan 

In addition to members of the Metropolitan Mu^ 
seum's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, 
American contributors to the catalogue include: Eliz- 
abeth Carter and Matthew Stolper, authors of a defini- 
tive study of the historical and archaeological sources 
for Elam; Frank Hole, whose writings have given 
definition to the life and society of Susa in the earliest 
periods, particularly as they are reflected in the mass 


Prefaces and Acknowledgments | ix 

burials and associated ceramics from the early ceme- 
tery; Holly Pittman, specialist on the glyptic mate- 
rials excavated at Susa and Malyan (ancient Anshan) ; 
and Suzanne Heim, whose work for her dissertation on 
Elamite glazed materials led her to attempt the recon- 
struction of the plan of the sacred structures at Susa 
that appears in this catalogue. 

The contributions of French colleagues are de- 
scribed below by Annie Caubet. These scholars 
brought expertise and focus to a variety of subjects, 
making the catalogue both current and comprehen- 
sive — a reflection of life and art at Susa and in the 
greater Near Eastern world. 

Joan Aruz and I shared the scholarly editing of the 
catalogue with Frangoise Tallon of the Louvre, who 
coordinated the contributions written and translated 
in Paris and then edited, reviewed, and corrected the 
catalogue texts while she was an Andrew W. Mellon 
Fellow here in New York. Holly Pittman was our chief 
advisor throughout, reviewing the manuscripts at var- 
ious stages, and Matthew Stolper patiently responded 
to numerous queries concerning the ancient historical 

Many people participated in the preparation of this 
volume's final text. We are particularly grateful for 
editorial assistance from Megan Cifarelli, Norbert 
Schimmel Fellow, and Kim Benzel, Curatorial Assis- 
tant in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. 
Robin Menczel, Senta German, and Arthur Tobias 
checked footnotes, and Kim Benzel collected compara- 
tive photographs. Cynthia Wilder coordinated various 
aspects of the publication. 

Translations from the French were almost all done 
in Paris by Gila Walker, with additional translation 
done by Chantal Combes. Oi-Cheong Lee and Joseph 
Coscia traveled to Paris to take most of the photo- 
graphs published here, which give ample evidence of 
their skill and concern for the objects. They worked 
with the support and direction of Barbara Bridgers, 
Manager of the Photograph Studio of the Metro- 
politan Museum. Drawings of the sealings were made 
by Jo Ann Wood. Catalogue and exhibition maps were 
made by Wilhelmina Reyinga-Amrhein. 

Ruth Kozodoy was the expert editor of the cata- 
logue. She was assisted by Joanna Ekman, Georgette 
Felix, Joanne Greenspun, Joan Holt, Kathleen Howard, 
and Mary Alice Rogers. Peter Antony ably directed 
the book's production, and Abby Goldstein is responsi- 
ble for its elegant design. Greg Kaats, Steffie Kaplan, 
and Russ Kane were the mechanical artists. Arthur 
Tobias checked and assembled the bibliography, to- 

gether with Robin Menczel and Jean Wagner. The 
index was compiled by Henry Engel. Keyboarding was 
skillfully performed by Mary Smith, assisted by 
Susan and Carol Birnbaum. The proofreaders were 
Jacolyn Mott and Carol Saltus. 

The production of a major scholarly catalogue is a 
complex undertaking, and the editors are particular- 
ly grateful to John P O'Neill, Editor in Chief, and 
Barbara Burn, Executive Editor, for their enthusiastic 
support of and high expectations for this publication. 
Anne de Margerie, director of publications for the 
Reunion des Musees Nationaux, shared this enthusi- 
asm and is responsible for the translation into French 
and sale of the catalogue in Paris. 

At an early stage in the planning of the exhibition, 
substantive consultations were held in Philadelphia 
with the Director of the University Museum, Robert 
H. Dyson, Jr., and Professors Ezat Negahban and 
Holly Pittman. These discussions helped us to formu- 
late and define the exhibition. Here in New York a 
large number of people also made significant contri- 
butions. Particular thanks are due Michelle Marcus, 
who conceived the exhibition's graphic displays and 
text panels, sifting through a tremendous amount of 
material in order to make this exhibition accessible to 
the general visitor and place Susa in an understandable 
historical and cultural context. Dr. Marcus was ably 
assisted by Kim Benzel Jeff Daly, head of the Mu- 
seum's Design Department, brought to the exhibition 
his many skills and expertise. Working with him were 
Michael Batista and Barbara Weiss. The lighting was 
designed by Zack Zanolli. 

Pierre Rosenberg, Conservateur general du Patri- 
moine charge du Departement des Peintures at the 
Louvre, has bur most sincere thanks for agreeing to 
the Louvre's restoration and loan of the monumental 
paintings of Jules -Georges Bondoux that are displayed 
in the exhibition and published in this catalogue. Vin- 
cent Pomarede, Conservateur for the Departement des 
Peintures, made it possible for these illustrations of the 
site of Susa during the early excavations to be brought 
to New York. Through Nicole Chevalier, archivist of 
the Louvre's Departement des Antiquites Orientales, 
we met Mme. Etienne Pillet, who most generously 
acceded to our request to be allowed to exhibit and 
publish four watercolors painted at Susa by Maurice 
Pillet in 1913. Agnes Spycket, chargee de Mission, 
Departement des Antiquites Orientales, made avail- 
able to us her marvelous photographs taken at Susa, 
one of which has been mounted at the entrance to the 
exhibition. Other views of rock-cut monuments in 

x I The Royal City of Susa 

Iran were generously lent for the exhibition by L. and 
C. Bier. 

Although the focus and substance of this exhibition 
are the antiquities excavated at Susa, a few other works 
of exceptional art-historical and historical importance 
were included and came from other sources : the Brit- 
ish Museum, the Collection of Robin B. Martin on 
loan to the, Brooklyn Museum, the Cincinnati Art 
Museum, and our own collection here at The Metro- 
politan Museum of Art. We acknowledge the loan of 
these objects with gratitude. 

When this exhibition was first conceived, Annie 
Caubet had just taken charge of the Louvre's Departe- 
ment des Antiquites Orientales, following the retire- 
ment of Pierre Amiet. I am grateful for her valuable 

contributions and her careful attention to every aspect 
of this project. Our department is particularly in- 
debted to the staff of the Departement des Antiquites 
Orientales. They developed the project with us, gave 
us access to archival materials that were vital for the 
success of the exhibition, and contributed extensively 
to the catalogue. Their expert collaboration, good 
humor, patience, and courtesy during our many visits 
to Paris have, in a real sense, made this exhibition and 
this catalogue possible. 


Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

The exhibition taking place at The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art and documented in this catalogue 
grew out of an exceptional set of circumstances. Nor- 
mally the Louvre would not loan such ancient, rare, 
and fragile works of art as these, nor would it allow the 
objects to travel across the Atlantic. However, the Near 
Eastern collection of the Louvre is being completely 
reinstalled — for the first time since 1945 — in connec- 
tion with the Grand Louvre project, and a large exhibi- 
tion on the archaeological excavations at Susa, planned 
to coincide with the temporary closing of the Louvre 
galleries, was organized by the Metropolitan Museum 
in New York. 

From the very beginning of their collaboration, the 
ancient Near East departments of the Louvre and of the 
Metropolitan Museum made the decision to focus on 
the recent research on Susa and Elam, an archaeologi- 
cal domain well represented at the Louvre, while 
simultaneously working to enhance a general under- 
standing of this heritage. The antiquities from Susa 
make up more than a third of the Louvre's entire 
collection, accounting for about thirty thousand inven- 
toried items. Quantitative strength goes hand in hand 
with the very great intrinsic value of the works, which 
is readily apparent from a reading of this catalogue. 

The discoveries made at Susa are vital to an under- 
standing of the entire ancient Near East. For example, 
Akkadian monuments unearthed at Susa illustrate a 
crucial moment in the history of Mesopotamia that 

would otherwise be known to us almost solely from 
texts. The archaeological heritage retrieved at Susa is 
now part of an international body of knowledge and 
includes famous works reproduced in textbooks all 
over the world, such as the Law Code of Hammurabi, 
the Naram-Sin stele, and the frieze of the Achaemenid 
archers, or guards. 

The archaeological exploration of Susa is closely 
associated with the beginning and subsequent devel- 
opment of Near Eastern studies. Our understanding, 
appreciation, and thus, preservation of this heritage 
undoubtedly rest upon the sometimes heroic efforts of 
the nineteenth-century pioneers of archaeology, who 
made it possible for the peoples of western countries to 
discover civilizations that until then had been known 
only through the Bible. 

This New York exhibition reflects the impact of 
recent archaeological and textual research on our inter- 
pretation of the works of art themselves. The exhibi- 
tion also pays well-deserved homage to all members of 
the international scholarly community who have con- 
tributed to a widening of knowledge about the ancient 
Near East through their work on the site of Susa. 

The history of Iran would not be known as it is today 
without the work carried out at the Louvre by Pierre 
Amiet, following that of Louis Le Breton. M. Amiet 
wrote the first comprehensive history of the land of 
Elam, detailing the role of Susa as a center of interna- 
tional trade. That he inspired many students and col- 

Prefaces and Acknowledgments | xi 

leagues is demonstrated in studies made by Frangoise 
Tallon on metals, Agnes Spycket on terracotta figu- 
rines, and Odile Deschesne on bitumen compound. 
The development of archeometry and advances in the 
environmental sciences and in physical chemistry lab- 
oratory facilities have helped make possible a greatly 
enlarged understanding of the techniques and mate- 
rials of these ancient works. 

Finally from the very beginning, the New York 
exhibition was linked to a systematic restoration cam- 
paign (see the Conservation Report by Brigitte Bour- 
geois in the Technical Appendix). Part of this restora- 
tion was made possible by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. 
Raymond R. Sackler through the French-American 
Foundation. The remaining responsibility was jointly 
borne by France and the Metropolitan Museum. We 
hope that the New York exhibition will contribute to 
the preservation and better understanding of an artis- 
tic and historic treasure that is part of the heritage of 
all peoples. 

This exhibition and its catalogue were made possi- 
ble by the work of a great many people. Our gratitude 
to all of them is profound. 

The authors of this catalogue in France, who read 
and commented on each others' research relating to the 
project, are Pierre Amiet, Beatrice Andre-Salvini, 
Agnes Benoit, Brigitte Bourgeois, Annie Caubet, 
Nicole Chevalier, Odile Deschesne, Agnes Spycket, 
and Frangoise Tallon. We thank the following schol- 
ars who also contributed observations: Olivier Callot, 
Jacques Connan, Alek Kaczmarczyk, Audran Labrousse, 
Florence Malbran, and Francois Poplin. 

Valuable organizational help within the Departe- 
ment des Antiquites Orientales at the Louvre was 
provided by Bernadette Contour, Aleth Echalier, Ge- 
nevieve Teissier, and Isabelle Laferriere. Photographic 
documentation was carried out by Sylvie Gautier, 
Isabelle Laferriere, Patricia Kalensky, and Valerie 
Matoian. Actively involved in the project at the Service 
de Restauration des Musees de France, filiere Arche- 
ologie, were Jeanne de Bremond DArs, Florence Ges- 
lin, Marie- Ange Potier, and Sylvie Watelet. 

We are grateful to the institutions and individuals 
who conducted the following scientific examinations 
and analyses. At the CEBTP (Centre Experimental de 
Recherches et d' Etudes du Batiment et des Travaux 
Publics) — A. Bouineau and B. Chagneaud: ultra- 
sound measurements of the Naram-Sin stele. At Elf- 
Aquitaine's Direction Exploration, Centre Scientifique 
et Technique — Jean Feger and Jacques Conan : analysis 
of bitumen. The Laboratoire dArcheologie des 

Metaux, Nancy: X-radiography of bronzes. At the 
Laboratoire de Recherche des Musees de France — 
Anne Bouquillon and Guirec Querre: petrography; 
France Drilhon (with the collaboration of SGS Quali- 
test): gamma-radiography of the statue of Napir-Asu 
and the Middle Elamite brick panels; Loic Hurtel and 
Michel Menu : spectrometry. At the Museum National 
d'Histoire Naturelle — Frangois Poplin: identification 
of ivory and shell. Professor Lorenzo Lazzarini, 
University of Rome "La Sapienza" : consultation on the 
Naram-Sin stele and analyses of previous treatments. 
At the BRGM (Bureau des Ressources Geologiques et 
Minieres) — J-L. Boulmier: porosity study of the 
Naram-Sin stele. At the IFROA Laboratory (Institut 
Fran^ais de Restauration des Oeuvres dArt) — 
P Ausset: salt content in the Naram-Sin stele. 

Conservation and restoration of the works was coor- 
dinated by the Departement des Antiquites Orientales 
at the Louvre and the Service de Restauration des 
Musees de France, filiere Archeologie, headed by 
Brigitte Bourgeois. The following people performed 
restorations. Martine Bailly : ceramics and terracotta 
figurines. Beatrice Beillard: ceramics and terracotta 
figurines, Middle Elamite and Achaemenid bricks. 
Didier Besnainou: Naram-Sin stele. Atelier de restau- 
ration Marbrerie-Sculpture, Direction des Musees de 
France: stone sculpture (the monuments of Puzur- 
Inshushinak). Fabienne Dall'ava: ceramics, terracotta 
figurines, Middle Elamite and Achaemenid bricks. 
Pascale Klein: unbaked clay head; research program 
on unbaked clay sculpture. Laboratoire dArcheologie 
des Metaux, Nancy: bronze sculpture (sit shamsi, 
statue of Napir-Asu). Angelique Laurent: jewelry. 
Juliette Levy: ivory and shell. Marie-Emmanuelle 
Meyohas: research program on bitumen compound. 
Veronique Motte and Bernard Le Huche: reconstruc- 
tion of Middle Elamite brick panels. Paolo Nadalini: 
ceramics, cuneiform tablets, and sealings. Caroline 
Parrot-Grailhon: Middle Elamite bricks. Veronique 
Picur : stone sculpture, including the Naram-Sin stele; 
Middle Elamite and Achaemenid bricks; research pro- 
gram on bitumen and unbaked clay sculpture. 

Photographic documentation was carried out by 
Pierre- Yves Boucharlat, Anne Chauvet, Gerard Du- 
fresne, Christian Larrieux, and Joel Requile. Trans- 
portation was provided by Maison Chenue. 

Conservateur general 
Departement des Antiquites Orientales 
Musee du Louvre 

Note to the reader 

Because the languages of the ancient Near East are incompletely understood, scholars do not entirely 
agree on their transcription. In this catalogue, names are generally spelled following the 

most commonly used transcriptions. 
Most dates in this volume are approximate. Dates provided for a ruler give the time of the 
individual's known activity and do not necessarily represent either a life span or the 

duration of a reign. 

The chronology for Elam and Mesopotamia presented here is based on: Stolper, 1984; J. A. 
Brinkman, 'Appendix: Mesopotamian Chronology of the Historical Period/' in A. L. Oppenheim, 
Ancient Mesopotamia, rev. ed. (Chicago, 1977), pp. 335-48; and Vallat, 1990. 

The Royal City of Susa 

Susa in the Ancient Near East 

Ancient Susa lay at the northwestern edge of the 
Khuzistan plain in the southwest of Iran. The region 
is an extension of the Mesopotamian plain and 
is linked to the highlands of the adjacent Zagros 
Mountains by the Karun, Diz, and Karkheh rivers. 
These rivers flow down from the mountains and into 
the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, 
called the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the 
Gulf. Blazing hot in the summer (with mean 
temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and 
temperate in the winter, this land was well watered 
and fertile, and from the late sixth millennium B.C. 
onward its northern part had been settled by farm- 
ing and livestock-raising peoples. More than one 
thousand years after the appearance of those first 
permanent villages Susa was founded, in the north- 
west corner of the plain on the banks of a small 
stream called the Shaur. The site was occupied more 
or less continually from about 4000 B.C. until the 
13th century A. a, when it was abandoned after the 
Mongol conquest. The ruins of Susa became a prom- 
inent local landmark rising some 120 feet above the 
flat alluvial surrounding lands. A shrine, built at 
the foot of the mound along the river, marks a spot 
thought to be the tomb of Daniel. 



Mountainous areas 

AWAN ( ?) 





*3> \ 


\& Mai van <j\ 







Jebel Aruda § 
Hdbubd Kabira • 
Ugarit. *Ebla 




Jerusalem* Dead 




•Tod -P 

The Near East 

Probable locations of ancient states 

Figure 1. Map of the Near East 

Maps | xv 



Lake Van 



*2" ^fefc Lake Urmifl 

^ . Tell Bnik ^ Tepc . Hasanlu Mar,ik * 
Nineveh / Gawra 

^ Q A S S Y R I A 

Man Nush-ijan. 

«te SJt> Eshnunna ^ 


Sippar " A K K A D .Pizful * 
Babylon. ^ Susa "ELAM r 

.Tepe Hissar 

Tepe Sialk 



<S> Isin'SUMER ThoghaZanbil ^ 
Larsa ##la * 1sh KHUZISTAN 


M A R G I A N A 


Shortui^n m 

B A C T R I A 

• Shahr-i Sokhui 

• Quetta 

Tal-iMalvan • Pilsa ^ KERMAN • 
Tal.Malyan. . Naqsh ., Rustam ^ 




* Persepolis 

• Tepe Yahya 


Mohenjo Daro • 


1 Earappti • 




Lothal < 

coo Miles 

i do loo ?oo JO* 1 * job Kilometer* 

xvi | The Royal City of Susa 

1 " ■■ 

Lake Van 

p / 4 w 



E y\ 


#Tepe Gawra 

^ * / r ^v • ^ ^\ , ^ 

A S S Y R , A 

f * 

CP \ ^ 

JcpeSarab .CodinTepe 
f • Bisitun 

c L •TepeGiyain 

Tcpc Guran ^ 

^ .Eshnunna ^ujkh Dum ° p 
"V O •Khafajeh «^ ^ 

• Dur Kungalzu . ^ ^"!& " ^ V 

# A AKKAD pT« **. ",* r 

1Sjbylon ,V. „ Farukhabad. Bcndcbal * % 

03 K ' sh **T , AliKosh*^^. % 

r Jaffa rabad • ^ / 
~y \ S Susa # • # Kul-i Farah / 

^ S U M E R Chogha Mish \ 

^ * #(Jruk Zanbi! Masjul-i Suleiman 

O E L A M Wr * 44 * 

/V Ubaid * # Ur 

' ^ # Eridu 



i Ma Ivan (Anshan^ v 
Tal-i Bakun* 

^Jrailaka 1 THE 

o *t> too no Miir* 

L_ L, i 1 1 1 J 

t 1 1 1 I f 1 

o *0 ioo 150 JCifomrtrr* 


Figure 2. Mesopotamia and western Iran 

Maps | xvii 

of Daniel 


Temple of 

Haute terrasseV^S^^ Shufrak-Nahhunte 11 VILLE ROYALE 

Massif funerairc 



VR— Ville Royale 

IOOO ^ppp TtVf 

L i- 1 I 1 L J 


400 $00 Meters 



o r> 


Figure 3 . Site plan of Susa 






Susa I 
Susa II 
Susa III 






Susa IV 



Eshpum, governor of Elam (ca. 2260) 

Epirmupi, governor of Susa, viceroy of Elam 

Puzur-Inshushinak, viceroy of Elam, last king of the dynasty of Awan 
(ca. 2 a 00) 











Assyrian conquest 
of Susa (646) 



Conquest by Alexander 

Kindattu (ca. 2005) 
Idaddu I 
Idaddu II 

Ebarat/Eparti II (ca. 1970) 
Shilhaha (ca. i960) 
Kuk-kirmash (ca. 1950) 
Attahushu, sukkal of Susa (ca. 1927) 

Tan-Uli (early 17th century) 
Temti-halki (mid-ijth century) 
Kuk-nashur III (ca. 1645) 

Tepti-ahar (15th century) 
(at Haft Tepe) 

Igi-halki (1400-1380) 

Untash-Napirisha (at Chogha Zanbil) (1340-1300) 

Shutruk-Nahhunte (1190-1155) 
Kutir-Nahhunte (1355-1150) 
ShilhakTnshushinak (1150-1120) 
Huteludush-Inshushinak (ca. 1120) 

Shutruk-Nahhunte II (716-699) 
Hallushu-Inshushinak (698-693) 

Tepti-Humban-Inshushinak (664 ?-653) 
Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak (ca. 650) 
Humban-haltash III (648-642?) 

Cyrus II (559-530) 

Darius I (522-486) 
Xerxes (486-465) 

Artaxerxes II (404-359) 
Darms III (335-33°) 

Chronology \ xix 






2 75° 


Early Uruk 
Late Uruk 

Jamdat Nasr 

Early Dynastic I 

Early Dynastic II 

Early Dynastic III 






Sargon (2334-2279) 
Manishtushu (2269-2255) 
Naram-Sin (2254-2218) 
Gudea of Lagash (ca. 2100) 
Ur-Nammu (2112-2095) 
Shulgi (2094-2047) 
Ibbi-Sin (2028-2004) 

Bilalama of Eshnunna (early 20th century) 
Gungunum of Larsa (1932-1906) 
Sumu-abum of Babylon (1894-1881) 



Old Babylonian 


Hammurabi (1792-1750) 
Ammi-saduqa (1646-1626) 


Burnaburiash II (1359-1333) 
Kurigalzu II (1332-1308) 


Isin II 


Melishihu (1186-1172) 
Nebuchadnezzar I (1125-1104) 

Ashurnasirpal II (883-859) 
Shalmaneser III (858-824) 

Sargon (721-705) 
Sennacherib (704-681) 




Ashurbanipal (668-627) 

Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562) 


Achaemenid rule 

ihe immense plateau of Iran lying north and east of 
the Persian Gulf rises from the alluvial plains of Mesopotamia but is set apart from them by the 
Zagros mountain chain (figs. 1 and 2, pp. xiv-xvi). West of these great mountains lies the lovely plain 
of Susiana, geographically an extension of the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys and historically the 
home of peoples with cultural and political ties to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. Throughout the 
ages, however, the inhabitants of Susiana were also in close contact with the peoples who descended 
from the northern mountain valleys of Luristan and particularly from the southeastern Iranian 
plateau in the modern province of Fars. It was this highland region in the southeast that was to 
become the cradle of Elamite civilization during the third and second millennia B.C. and later the 
homeland of the Indo-European Persians, who were newcomers to Iran at the beginning of the first 
millennium B.C. 


An Introduction to the History of Art in Iran 

for some seven thousand years, the rich region of 
Susiana alternated between the primacy of two centers 
of control and influence: southern Mesopotamia to the 
west, and the great tribal heartlands of Iran, both the 
central Zagros mountain region and the highland 
plateau, to the north and east. Whenever the Meso- 
potamian powers seized control of the Susiana plain 
they strengthened the cultural dependence of that re- 
gion on Mesopotamia, while the people of the moun- 
tains and highland plateaus were thrust back into the 
obscurity of their tribal conflicts. But when the people 
of the mountains and the plateau achieved unity in the 
third millennium B.C., they were able to incorporate 
Susiana — with its highly developed urban civiliza- 
tion — into a powerful state, the first cultural and po- 
litical entity recorded in the history of Iran: Elam. 
This double state had two complementary capitals, 
Anshan in the southeastern highlands and Susa, 
which had been founded around 4000 B.C., in the 
plains extending eastward from Mesopotamia. 

The eighth millennium had witnessed the onset of 
the "Neolithic revolution ": the domestication of crops 
and animals and the initiation of village settlements. 
This transformation occurred first in the valleys of the 
Zagros Mountains and subsequently throughout the 
region that later became Susiana. A village culture 
soon developed and, beginning in the sixth millen- 
nium, found its most accomplished artistic expression 
in painted pottery (Nos. 1-13). Initially geometric and 
nonfigural, the decoration of the vessels was gradu- 
ally transformed as the artists looked to the real world 
for inspiration. Naturalism, however, was rejected in 
favor of a deliberately stylized evocation of animal life 
that sprang from an extraordinary artistic creativity. 
A form of small statuary vigorously stylized in the 
same spirit also arose and is exemplified by finds made 
at Tepe Yahya, southeast of Susa in the province of 
Kerman. In the copper-rich region of Kerman and in 

central Iran a metallurgical industry flourished some- 
what later, around the time of the founding of Susa in 
4000 B.C. 

The new settlement at Susa virtually supplanted an 
earlier one at Chogha Mish, situated sixteen miles to 
the east, where the long, slow, preliminary unfolding 
of archaic culture can be traced. Subsequently the first 
Susians, benefiting from links with their close rela- 
tives on the plateau, brought this culture to a high 
point — even in the physical sense, raising a huge ter- 
race, an artificial citadel far larger than the contempo- 
rary one supporting the temple of Eridu in southern 

Susian affinities with the inhabitants of the moun- 
tainous regions can be seen in the decoration favored 
for the painted vases that are among the earliest works 
of art unearthed at the site: the figure of an ibex, an 
inhabitant of the mountains, with enormous, harmo- 
niously curving horns (Nos. 1, 4, 9). This motif is also 
found in the art of contemporary plateau villages: 
Tal-i Bakun near Persepolis, Tepe Giyan and Godin 
Tepe to the northeast of Luristan, Tepe Sialk on the 
frontier of the eastern central desert, and as far as Tepe 
Hissar in the northeast. Representations of living crea- 
tures are so forcefully stylized that early archaeolo- 
gists took them for a form of pictographic writing. In 
fact the images, while meaningful, appear to be essen- 
tially decorative; they are never organized in terms of 
a discourse, but are arranged and often repeated to 
create a satisfying effect within an abstract scheme 
which is itself designed to harmonize with the shape of 
the vessel. 

Susas close relationship with the peoples outside 
the Susiana plain is confirmed by the presence, among 
the numerous examples of stamp seals, of some im- 
ported examples from the plateau, on which there 
appears the theme of the mythical "master of ani- 
mals/ 7 For the first time an iconography was elabo- 


The History of Art in Iran | 3 

Figure 4. The mound of Susa as it appeared before the start of excavations. Jules-Georges Bondoux (1866-1919), he tell de Suse avant les 
fouilles, 1905. Oil on canvas, H. 15 ft. 1 in. (460 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, 20802 

4 | Susa in the Ancient Near East 

rated on seals, with the figure of a human potentate 
related to the "master of animals/' an image that 
perhaps prefigures that of the king in historical times. 
The images exhibit an archaic stylization and a pur- 
poseful avoidance of rendering the human face, char- 
acteristics also of the terracotta figurines and the 
extremely rare stone statuettes. 

Sometime during the fourth millennium, in the 
urban center of Uruk (for which the archaelogical 
period is named), southern Mesopotamia acquired a 
specifically Sumerian historical identity With the in- 
troduction of a system of writing, a gradual develop- 
ment from an earlier accounting system, a radical 
change occurred in the social organization and in the 
very foundations of thought. This decisive transfor- 
mation in the history of human development found 
artistic expression in the abandonment of painted vase 
decoration and in a new impulse toward bas-relief and 
sculpture in the round. The figural iconography asso- 
ciated with these previously undocumented arts was to 
endure throughout the history of the ancient Near 
East. Susa, in its earliest period (Susa I) attached to the 
world of the Iranian plateau, was now (in Susa II) 
integrated into the early Sumerian civilization of 
Mesopotamia, which it interpreted with originality. 
Precise stratigraphic excavations conducted in recent 
decades have allowed us to trace developments at Susa 
in the Uruk phase, notably of an accounting system 
that preceded the slightly later appearance of writing. 

The cylinder seal supplanted the earlier stamp seal 
at this time. Documents that still bore only numbers 
were impressed with these cylindrical seals, and the 
continuous designs rolled out on clay served as a sort of 
testing ground for the major arts. The designs were 
sometimes schematic and archaizing but at other times 
naturalistic and idealized, the visual antithesis of the 
stylized art of the prehistoric era. Alongside the tra- 
ditional animal representations a new repertory of 
scenes was elaborated on the seals, inspired by the 
daily activities of a population that was apparently 
proud of its new status. Thus there appears a "priest- 
king/ possibly representative of a type of monarchy 
that is known from later Sumerian literature. 

Susa witnessed, along with Uruk, the vigorous 
growth of the sculptural arts in the late fourth millen- 
nium B.C. ; especially numerous are vessels, often zoo- 
morphic in form, and statuettes of exquisite delicacy 
(see pp. 58 ft). There was also a flourishing metal- 
lurgy characterized by experimentation with alloys 
and the use of the lost-wax casting process to fashion 
pins decorated with delicate figures. Finally, like the 

early Sumerians, the Susians in this period became 
colonizers. They spread out along routes that led them 
to Godin Tepe and Tepe Sialk in west central Iran, 
organizing a trade network in which the agricultural 
wealth of Susa and its "colonies" was exchanged for 
precious minerals from even more remote regions. 
These exchanges enriched Susiana and introduced its 
developed culture to distant lands. 

The prehistoric inhabitants of Fars, on the plateau 
to the southeast, seem to have been on the margin of 
the Susian expansion. There the village cultures had 
died out at the same time as that of Susa I (around 
3700), and the villagers perhaps became nomads. But 
toward the end of the fourth millennium, when the 
brilliant civilization of the Uruk period had collapsed 
in Mesopotamia and at Susa, the population of Fars 
broke with the prehistoric past and achieved in their 
turn a kind of historical consciousness, establishing a 
large center which perhaps had already acquired its 
name, Anshan (modern Tal-i Malyan). The creativity 
of this first period of Elamite historical identity is 
apparent in the development at Susa and Anshan of a 
form of writing and an art that we call Proto-Elamite. 

Susa was annexed by Anshan. Although it was a 
much smaller center than Anshan, its long previous 
period of cultural development enabled it to contribute 
to the formation of the new civilization, which ex- 
panded into ethnically related regions. Evidence of the 
Proto-Elamite civilization, in particular writing and a 
distinctive glyptic style, is widespread and is found at 
Tepe Sialk to the north (where, as in Susa, this stage 
followed a settlement of the Uruk type) and especially 
to the southeast at Tepe Yahya, which became a sort 
of outpost in the heart of Kerman province. Proto- 
Elamite influence even spread across the great eastern 
desert of Lut to Shahr-i Sokhta, where the Proto- 
Elamite accounting system is found in use by people 
whose cultural affinities lay not with the Proto- 
Elamite world but with the inhabitants of Turkmenia 
and the region south of the Hindu Kush mountain 
range. Clay tablets with Proto-Elamite writing also 
occur at Anshan in association with a large building 
embellished with paintings. 

A considerable part of what we know about Proto- 
Elamite art is based on the designs carved on cylinder 
seals. Whereas the art of the Uruk period in Meso- 
potamia and Susa accorded a place of honor to the 
human being — expressing a very ancient form of 
"humanism" — the focus of Proto-Elamite art is almost 
exclusively on animals. Animals were often substi- 
tuted for people (fig. 5), sometimes in apparently hu- 

The History of Art in Iran | 5 

Figure 5. Kneeling bull holding vessel. 
Iran(?), Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3000 
B.C. Silver, H. 6 3 /s in. (16.3 cm). The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pur- 
chase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1966 

morous scenes that perhaps evoked fables. At other 
times the animals are shown in what may be myth- 
ological scenes, appearing gigantic (No. 47) and 
carrying mountains. These animals may personify 
elementary cosmic powers comparable to the moun- 
tain gods and genii of later Mesopotamian mythology. 
A new feeling of movement and a baroque stylization 
are also evident in Proto-Elamite art, both on seals and 
in the rare examples of sculpture in stone and metal. 

The intrinsic duality of Proto-Elamite civilization, 
with its ties to both the plains of Susiana and the 
Iranian highlands and plateau, may have contributed 
to a lack of stability. This was compounded by the 
excessively rapid urbanization of the mountain heart- 
land. With the subsequent urban collapse, the inhabi- 
tants of the plateau in Pars deserted their towns and 
villages and may have reverted to ancestral nomad- 
ism. But while Anshan was abandoned, as were Tepe 

Sialk and Tepe Yahya to the north and southeast, Susa 
returned to the Mesopotamian orbit sometime around 

2800-2750 B.C. 

The collapse of Proto-Elamite civilization was un- 
doubtedly due in part to the rise of powerful Early 
Dynastic Sumerian city states throughout southern 
Mesopotamia during the first half of the third millen- 
nium. One mark of the Mesopotamian development 
was the sudden appearance of a new art, characterized 
by a profusion of statuary placed in temples to perpet- 
uate the presence there of a multitude of worshipers. 
The existence of at least one such temple on the Susian 
acropolis, known as the Acropole mound (see below, 
p. 21), is attested by a collection of characteristic stat- 
uettes of worshipers, some indistinguishable in both 
form and execution from the ones recovered in Meso- 
potamian temples. Initially the figures were stylized 
in an angular fashion (No. 50); this approach was 

6 Susa in the Ancient Near East 

succeeded by a greater naturalism, although some of 
the works retain a "cubist" appearance, and a provin- 
cial quality characterizes even the sculptures of 
royal figures. 

The seal carvers of Susa also fully embraced Meso- 
potamian artistic conventions, although there were 
exceptions. One seal dating from the end of the Early 
Dynastic period (about 2350), of which only the 
impression remains, is inscribed in Sumerian with 
what is thought to be the name of a Susian goldsmith 
(fig. 6). Although the inscription shows that the lan- 
guage and writing of Mesopotamia had been adopted 
in Susa, and the seal is decorated in the Sumerian style 
of the period of the princes of Lagash, some of the 
distinctive imagery is drawn from Elamite mythology 
with a characteristic emphasis on goddesses seated on 
felines and divinities holding plants, perhaps refer- 
ences to a vegetation myth or ritual. 

A Susian originality is manifest in the objects 
made of a distinctive material, bitumen hardened by 
the addition of a fine sandy temper. Since the earliest 
period at Susa this bitumen compound had been used 
in imitation of exotic black stones. From the material 
were carved statuettes, vessels of various degrees of 
sophistication, and offering stands whose crudely 
stylized decoration has affinities with popular vase 
painting (Nos. 63-69). 

In the middle of the third millennium the painting 
of vases recommenced in a "second style" (fig. 7) that 
had nothing in common with the style of the oldest 
Susa I vases. This second style of vase painting, 
emerging in an epoch of Mesopotamian hegemony, 
illustrates the Susians' underlying affinities with the 

Figure 6 (top). Drawing of a seal impression depicting Elamite de- 
ities. Seal impression: Susa, ca. 2350 B.C. Clay, H. iV z in. (3.8 cm). 
Paris, Musee du Louvre, Sb 6680 

Figure 7. ''Second style" painted ceramic jar. Susa, first half of the 
3rd millennium B.C. Baked clay h. i6y 4 in. (42.5 cm). Paris, Musee 
du Louvre, Sb 6607 

The History of Art in Iran \ 7 

peoples of the mountainous regions of Luristan to the 
north. Although culturally and politically integrated 
into the Mesopotamian orbit, Susa remained a center 
where trade routes descending from the plateau con- 
verged and through which goods brought from the 
highlands in the north and in the east reached the 
western plain. 

The semi-nomadic inhabitants of Tepe Yahya to the 
southeast, and certainly other sites as well, carved 
vessels of black and green chlorite that were richly 
decorated with architectural motifs; mythological fig- 
ures mastering serpents, and other subjects. These 
distinctive objects reached Mesopotamia in part by sea 
routes. They enjoyed immense popularity from Susa 
to Ur in southern Mesopotamia and as far west as 
Mari in Syria during the mid- and late third millen- 
nium B.C. 

In the second half of the third millennium the 
Akkadian kings, who had gained control over Meso- 
potamia, occupied Susiana. When the Akkadian em- 
pire fell, about 2200 B.C., a prince of Susa who was 
the last ruler of the Elamite dynasty of Awan, Puzur- 
Inshushinak, 1 threw off the Mesopotamian yoke. He 
drew together the peoples of the Susiana plain and the 
mountain principalities in southwestern Iran into a 
kind of Elamite empire. To that end he employed the 
cuneiform writing and the Akkadian language already 
in use at Susa and also the linear writing that tran- 
scribed the language of the Elamites, a script found in 
Fars and as far east as Shahdad in Kerman (see fig. 9, 

Puzur-Inshushinak's attempt at imperial expan- 
sion was short-lived, for the Neo-Sumerian kings of 
Ur soon captured Susa. They restored the ancient 
temple of the great nature goddess, called in Sumerian 
Ninhursag-of-Susa, adjacent to a new temple to the 
patron god of Susa, Inshushinak. The Ur III rulers 
imposed their suzerainty over the Elamite princes of 
Anshan, who were probably semi-nomadic, in the 
southeast, and over others, including the princes of 
Shimashki, in an area that is likely to have extended to 
the north and southeast of Susiana. In this historical 
setting, still poorly documented in highland Iran, a 
refined style of art influenced by the Neo-Sumerian 
art of Mesopotamia was born; it is exemplified at 
Susa by the works created during the reign of Puzur- 
Inshushinak (Nos. 54, 55). 

While Elam was experiencing a revival in the late 
third millennium B.C., first under the independent 
king Puzur-Inshushinak and later under Mesopota- 
mian hegemony, indigenous groups of people in the 
eastern province of Kerman were developing a "trans- 
Elamite" culture that lasted through the early second 
millennium. Artisans located at Shahdad on the bor- 
der of the desert of Lut worked in alabaster and copper. 
A local pantheon of gods appears on the cylinder seals 
of the region (fig. 8). Farther to the east, two cultural 
centers comparable to Mesopotamia had also reached 
maturity in the second half of the third millennium 
B.C.: in the Indus Valley of present-day India and 
Pakistan; and in Turkmenia, northeast of Iran. Their 
history remains little known, however, because the 

8 | Susa in the Ancient Near East 

script of the Indus civilization is still not understood 
and no traces of writing from this period have been 
found in Turkmenia. The influence of the trans- 
Elamite culture is evident in the border regions of 
these lands as well: on the western frontier of India at 
Sibri, south of the Hindu Kush at Quetta, and farther 
north in Bactria and Margiana just east of Turkmenia, 
where objects similar to those found in Kerman have 
been excavated — vessels of chlorite and alabaster, cere- 
monial axes, and compartmented stamp seals. Mean- 

Figure 9. Vase with female figures and linear Elamite inscription. 
Marv-Dasht plain(?), Iran, reign of Puzur-Inshushinak, ca. 2100 B.C. 
Silver, h. j 5 /s in. (19.3 cm). Teheran, Iran Bastan Museum 

while, at Shortugai in northeastern Afghanistan, 
colonists from the Indus Valley had settled. 

In Elam, the princes of the new Shimashkian dy- 
nasty, who governed a vast area to the north and 
southeast of Susiana, drove out the Sumerians and 
gained control of Susa toward 2000 B.C. Anshan was 
soon restored as the major metropolis of the Elamite 
federation, and the rulers of Shimashki seem to have 
adopted the title "king of Anshan and Susa" sometime 
before 1900 B.C. That imperial title of the rulers of 
Elam was subsequently changed to sukkalmah, a term 
borrowed from the Sumerian administration and 
meaning "grand regent/ 7 Under the rule of the suk- 
kalmahs, which continued until about 1500 B.C., Susa 
remained within the Mesopotamian cultural sphere, 
but local artistic traditions continued. During this 
period elegant luxury wares of bitumen compound 
were produced, often in the shape of an animal's body 
(Nos. 63-65). On cylinder seals a number of original 
motifs appear, notably figures of queens wearing full, 
flounced crinolines of sheepskin that are closely related 
to the figure on a silver luxury vessel dating to the 
reign of Puzur-Inshushinak (fig. 9). 

It is significant that no extant stele or statue of 
royalty or divinity has been found that would testify to 
the existence of an official Elamite art at Susa during 
this period. Only outside this urban setting and be- 
yond the borders of Susiana, in the highlands to the 
south and east, is a royal Elamite art to be found. In the 
seventeenth century the Elamite kings, although they 
may have wintered at Susa, created two open-air rock- 
cut sanctuaries in the highlands: at Naqsh-i Rustam, 
near the future site of Persepolis, and at Kurangun. 
Represented in the sanctuary at Kurangun is a fig- 
ure identified as the great Elamite mountain god 
Napirisha, enthroned above a mythical serpent and 
accompanied by his wife. From both sides worshipers 
approach the divine couple, encircled by flowing waters 
(fig. 10). 

In the kingdom of Elam during this time (about 
1700 B.C.), the people of the southeastern plateau, 
whose princes had controlled Susiana, fell back into a 
semi-nomadic state. The trans-Elamite culture that 
extended across the plateau similarly collapsed, and 
India too was overwhelmed in a general crisis about 
which little is known. 

Between the sixteenth and fourteenth centuries 
B.C. the Mitannian empire in northern Mesopotamia, 
apparently led by an Indo-European aristocracy who 
ruled over the Hurrian population, provided a link 
between the prosperous lands of the Levant and the 

The History of Art in Iran | 9 

world of the Iranian plateau; meanwhile the Kassites, 
newcomers to the Tigris-Euphrates river valleys, 
reigned over a reduced Babylonia. The Elamites were 
concentrated in the Susiana plain but maintained their 
ancestral ties with the highlands, where Anshan was 
progressively deserted. 

The Elamite civilization of the fifteenth century is 
best known from the excavations at Haft Tepe (ancient 
Kabnak), not far from Susa. There the king Tepti-ahar 
erected a great funerary temple for himself in which 
the place of worship, or cella, was situated above two 
large vaulted tombs. At Susa the ordinary inhabitants 
were also buried in vaults, but these tombs were in the 
ground beneath their houses. Portrait heads of unfired, 
painted clay, deposited in these tombs near the heads of 
the deceased, display a vigorous naturalism that is 
exceptional in the art of the Near East (No. 84). This 
Elamite civilization had affinities with those of the 
Kassites and the Hurrians. 

Reacting against Mesopotamian cultural influ- 
ences, an Elamite dynasty of the fourteenth century 
restored Anshan (henceforth called Anzan in inscrip- 
tions) to a kind of theoretical preeminence. Around 
1340, with a view to assuring the cohesion of his 
empire, Untash-Napirisha, the fifth king of the dy- 
nasty, founded a new royal center that later bore his 
name, Al Untash-Napirisha (modern Chogha Zanbil), 
twenty-five miles southeast of Susa (fig. 11). This new 
foundation, excavated by Roman Ghirshman between 
1951 and 1962, was built around a great national temple 
complex called the siyan-kuk, or "holy place/' Origi- 
nally the complex, dedicated solely to the patron god of 
Susa, Inshushinak, consisted essentially of a building 
resembling a secular caravanserai, with an open court 

Figure 10 (top). Drawing of a rock relief at Kurangun, near Persepo- 
lis, Iran. Relief: Old Elamite period, ca. 17th century B.C. H. 63 in. 
(160 cm) 

Figure 11. Air view of Chogha Zanbil, Iran, showing three enclosure 
walls and interior temples of the Middle Elamite period 

surrounded by rooms, and containing two small sanc- 
tuaries. Cult ceremonies probably took place in the 
courtyard in the open air, as had been the custom in the 
high places of the mountain peoples outside the great 
urban centers. Later, in order to emphasize the pri- 
macy of the highlands, the king decided to transform 
this building into an imperial temple dedicated to 
both Napirisha, the patron god of Anshan, and In- 
shushinak, the god of Susa. In the courtyard he raised 

10 I SUSA IN If II. AnCII.N I Nl.AK I! As I 

massive blocks in a complex construction to form a 
ziggurat 165 to 200 feet high, of which the original 
building constituted the lower stage. Within an enclo- 
sure wall at the foot of this tower were the temples of 
the associated deities. Other temples were located near 
a second, outer enclosure wall, and a third wall sur- 
rounded the city (the houses were in fact never built 
because the site was soon deserted), which included a 
royal quarter. Within this royal quarter were some 
'palaces" that were simply groups of apartments around 
large courtyards, with nothing specifically palatial 
about their arrangement. In the same area a palace 
temple for the funerary cult was constructed above the 
burial vaults that housed the remains of the royal 
family, most of whom had been cremated, a practice 
attested also among the Hittite and Mitanni peoples. 
Finally, there was an unusual temple with a cclla open 
to the sky created for the cult of fire personified : the 
god Nusku. 

Most artifacts found in this prestigious but short- 
lived complex were small objects, mainly made of glass 
and faience, dedicated by the king and founder of the 
city, Untash-Napirisha, and by humble pilgrims. Sev- 
eral important works of art were transported to Susa 
in the twelfth century during the reign of Shutruk- 
Nahhunte. Their reconstruction from fragments has 
revealed the existence of an official art of statuary and 
bas-relief sponsored by Untash-Napirisha (No. 80). 
This art departed from most of the Babylonian tradi- 
tions that had flourished previously in Elam. One 
characteristic, perhaps derived from the culture of the 
inhabitants of the mountains around Anzan who were 
then predominant in Elam and who had imposed the 
use of Elamite rather than Akkadian in Susiana, is 
the apparent fondness for rendering embroidered gar- 

ments in a curiously stylized fashion with small cur- 
vilinear crosses, resembling the hide of an animal. The 
snake, depicted naturalistically or as a fantastic com- 
posite creature (a serpent-dragon), was a favorite sym- 
bol of the inhabitants of the Elamite highlands and was 
probably their supreme emblem of divinity rather 
than the attribute of any specific god. On the stele 
dedicated by Untash-Napirisha to the god Inshushinak 
of Susa, the seated deity is associated with the snake. 
Similarly, the handle of a votive spade of Nabu, the god 
of writing, is in the form of a snake, and two serpents 
adorn a grand sacrificial table (fig. 12), an astonishing 
masterpiece of bronze casting surpassed only by the 
monumental statue of Queen Napir-Asu (No. 83). 
This image of the wife of Untash-Napirisha is an 
extraordinary technological and artistic achievement 
which is unparalleled in ancient Near Eastern art of 
this period. 

The popular art of seals at the time was almost the 
antithesis of this royal art. The seals show significant 
affinities with the contemporary artwork of the Kas- 
sites of Babylonia and are devoid of imagery repre- 
senting the Elamite god enthroned over the snake, a 
scene that had appeared on earlier Elamite seals (No. 
76). Once again, the oscillation between influences 
from Mesopotamia and from the highlands of Iran is 
reflected in the art of Elam. 

From the second half of the second millennium few 
archaeological traces remain of the inhabitants of the 
Elamite highlands. In the twelfth century B.C. Anzan 
shrank to a fraction of its previous size, although 
remains nevertheless exist of a large administrative 
building. The king Shutruk-Nahhunte and his two 
sons made Susa into what was for all practical purposes 
the sole capital of the empire. Successful in their 

Figure 12. Table with serpents and water deities. Acropole mound, Susa, Middle Elamite period, luh-izth century IU". Bronze, L. 62 in. 
(158 cm). Paris, Musec du Louvre, Sb 18^ 

The History of Art in Iran \ 11 

f I 'V r^- 


Figure 13. Reconstruction drawing of brick architectural reliefs depicting a royal couple. Reliefs: Susa, Middle Elamite period, reign of Shilhak- 
Inshusbinak, 1150-1120 B.C. Molded, glazed brick. Paris, Musee du Louvre; male: Sb 703, 11405-6, 11413-5, 11419-20, 11422; female: 
Sb 701, 724, 729, 760, 11408-9, 11412, 11418, 11422 

Mesopotamia!! campaigns, they brought vast booty 
from the cities of Babylonia to Susa. Moreover, to 
confirm Susa's centrality as the preeminent Elamite 
city they relocated there works previously dedicated in 
the other major Elamite cities: the steles and statues of 
the siyan-kuk from Chogha Zanbil and a large bronze 
relief of a row of figures that originated in the high- 
lands around Anzan. The relief appears to represent a 
procession of deified royal ancestors and is inscribed 
with the names of several Anzanite divinities. 

Nothing is known of the architecture of Susa dur- 
ing this period, although it has been possible to recon- 
stitute the wall surface of what must have been an 
imposing temple complex decorated in molded brick, a 
tradition borrowed from Babylonia (No. 88). On the 
Acropole, the inside walls of one chapel were orna- 
mented with enameled reliefs representing the royal 

couples of the dynasty in distinctively Elamite dress 
(fig. 13). There is no other evidence at Susa of an 
official art comparable to the program sponsored by 
Untash-Napirisha two centuries before. This form of 
dynastic art is, however, found in the highlands, where 
it can be seen in the rock-cut sanctuary at Kurangun 
and especially at Shikaft-i Salman (the reliefs there 
are dated to the twelfth century) near Izeh/Malamir, 
in the heart of the Bakhtiari Mountains north of Pars. 
At Shikaft-i Salman, two kings are represented with 
their wives. The figures are dressed like the royal 
couples on the enameled reliefs at Susa, and the kings' 
plaited hair falls onto their chests. 

At the end of the twelfth century B.C. both Susa 
and Anzan were destroyed by Babylonian armies, and 
the Elamite civilization sank into an almost total ob- 
scurity that lasted until the eighth century. Rock-cut 


reliefs east of Susiana, at Kul-i Farah near Izeh/ 
Malamir, may date from the period after this Babylo- 
nian destruction. On them kings are depicted carried 
on podiums and followed by a crowd of their subjects, 
a theme that evokes for the first time the concept of 
a people or nation surrounding their king, who is 
primus inter pares (fig. 14). No representations exist of 
the gods honored by these nomad kings. 

It is in this period between 1400 and 1000 B.C. that 
local princes (apparently nomads) in the region of the 
Caspian Sea, enriched by exchanges with the Meso- 
potamian empires and Elam, were buried in sump- 
tuous tombs near Marlik. Their vases of red or gray 
terracotta in the form of animals and humans and also 
numerous small bronze sculptures illustrate the vigor 
and originality of a people who have left no written 
documents and therefore remain outside recorded his- 
tory. Inheritors of a tradition known in Bactria and 
Margiana, the people of Marlik were great admirers of 
vessels of gold and silver; they passed on this predilec- 
tion to both the Achaemenids and the Sasanians. But 
the themes of their art were adopted from the great 

historical civilizations of the Near East: Mitannian 
and Assyrian monsters, Elamite mythical creatures, 
Kassite winged bulls and crouching rams turning their 
heads toward the beholder like those on the Susian 
vases of bitumen compound of the early second 

Also arising in the fifteenth century in northern 
and central Iran, outside of the known urban centers, 
were other traditions that developed over a long pe- 
riod. Local potentates ruled over the population from 
citadels; archaeologically the best known of these is at 
Hasanlu, south of Lake Urmia in northwest Iran. At 
that site, excavated between 1956 and 1974 by a Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania expedition with support from 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, an original col- 
umned architecture was elaborated. This type of ar- 
chitectural setting corresponded to a need, unknown 
in the old Mesopotamian monarchies, to create meet- 
ing places for large assemblies. Hasanlu's prosperity 
was due in part to trade, and these economic exchanges 
were largely responsible for an artistic syncretism 
evident in the extraordinarily rich finds from the 

Figure 14. South face of a rock relief depicting a king and his subjects. Kul-i Farah, near Malamir, Iran, Neo-Elamite period, 8th- 7 th 
B.C. H. 10 ft. 7 in. (322 cm) 

The History of Art in Iran | 13 

grand columned halls at this site, which was destroyed 
about 800 B.C. 

Only at the end of the eighth century, with the 
restoration of the "kingship of Anzan and Susa," does 
Elam reappear in the historical record. On the Susian 
Acropole, otherwise practically deserted, the king 
Shutur-Nahhunte built a small Neo-Elamite temple 
with polychrome enameled brick decoration display- 
ing motifs related to contemporary art from the 
mountains of Luristan to the north, where a stylized 
animal decoration characterizes small bronzes. 

In 646 B.C. the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, retal- 
iating against the Elamites for their support of his 
Babylonian enemy, launched his army against Susa. 
He destroyed the old capital and with it the Elamite 
kingdom, already divided from within. This defeat 
marked the dissolution of the illustrious Elamite civi- 
lization, a sister to the civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, 
and Babylon. The Mesopotamian kingdoms of As- 
syria in the north and Babylonia in the south were 
soon to experience a comparable demise. 

The Medes, an Indo-European people, had ap- 
peared in northwestern Iran by the early first millen- 
nium B.C. but were not ready to take up the legacy of 
Elam. They have left no trace of writing or a recogni- 
zable dynastic art, but the distinctive columned archi- 
tecture developed at Godin Tepe and Nush-i Jan, in the 
Zagros northeast of Susiana, betrays the presence of 
this newly arrived Indo-European people. 

In the late seventh century B.C., when Susa once 
again became an administrative headquarters, an un- 
identified prince governed a population consisting of 
not only Elamites but also Persians, who were new 
Indo-European immigrants. The individual character 
of this mixed, literate society was expressed in a new 
and original art that combined Babylonian and As- 
syrian elements with indigenous traditions. Among 
the few works that have survived this period are seals, 
on which the preferred subject, a horse and rider, is 
delicately modeled and worked with great vivacity and 

The two populations, Elamite and Persian, must 
also have coexisted beyond the boundaries of Susiana 
on the Izeh/Malamir plain in the Bakhtiari Mountains 
to the east, which in the course of the seventh century 
became the center of a small kingdom called Aiapir. 
King Hanne and his minister, continuing an ancient 
Elamite tradition (see above, p. 11), appropriated the 
relief sculptures of princes whom they probably re- 
garded as ancestors. To the reliefs representing the 
king surrounded by his people at Kul-i Farah, Hanne 

added another relief in which he himself is depicted, 
wearing a fringed garment and a bulbous tiara similar 
to the headdress worn by Medes on the Persepolis 

The Indo-European Persians had made the Elamite 
highlands (modern Fars) their chosen land by the 
seventh or sixth century. Exposed through the Elam- 
ites to the achievements of older civilizations, they 
organized themselves into a national state. The Per- 
sians took over the illustrious monarchy of Anzan, 
while the indigenous Elamites themselves became Per- 
sian in a rapid process of acculturation. Their refined 
style of seal carving, found also in Susiana, can be 
considered the first expression of Persian art. 

It was Cyrus the Great, conqueror of the Medes in 
the middle of the sixth century and then of Babylonia, 
who united all the people of Iran — Medes, Persians, 
and Elamites — in a single national entity that was both 
unified and imperial in its diversity. 

Cyrus replaced Anzan, over which he had declared 
himself and his ancestors king, with a new capital at 
Pasargadae in Fars. There he commissioned architec- 
ture of a palatial type, intentionally rejecting an urban 
setting. Two columned halls, which were actually as- 
sembly halls for the Persian nobility and not resi- 
dences, were integrated into a magnificent landscape in 
a vast, ingeniously arranged and irrigated garden. The 
columned architecture may have been essentially in- 
herited from the Medes, who left traces of late-eighth- 
century buildings at Godin Tepe and Nush-i Jan in 
west central Iran. A "subtle and fugitive fragrance of 
Hellenism" (Pierre Amandry) was imparted to this 
Persian architecture by Ionian Greek stonemasons — 
the finest in the empire — to whom its execution was 
entrusted. In. sponsoring the construction of architec- 
ture in a purely Iranian tradition, but clad in Greek 
clothing and associated with sculpted decoration of 
Elamite and Mesopotamian type, the new state ex- 
pressed its desire to acknowledge the heritage of all its 
peoples. Rather than subjugated, they were to be inte- 
grated into what would be an immense realm of peace. 

The characteristics of Persian art under the 
Achaemenid dynasty were definitively established by 
Darius I at the start of his reign (522-486 B.C.). He 
completely remodeled the urban center of Susa, in 
which there had stood only administrative or ceremo- 
nial edifices, by constructing a palace complex to the 
north. It included a royal residency of the Assyro- 
Babylonian type, arranged around three successive 
courtyards, the walls of which were covered with 
enameled baked brick reliefs (Nos. 155-168; fig. 15). 

14 I Susa in the Ancient Near East 

Figure 15. Maurice Pillet: , The Palace of Darius, 1913. Watercolor on paper, H. 26 in. (66 cm). Coll. Mme. Etienne Pillet, Le Chesnay, France 

In the heart of the complex, a suite of two ceremonial 
rooms reproduced those in Nebuchadnezzar's palace at 
Babylon; they were framed by storerooms that would 
have been incongruous in this setting had they not 
supported the upper- floor private apartments. Directly 
north of the palace rose the enormous apadana, or 
columned hall, for royal assemblies. The apadana was 
of a purely Iranian tradition developed in Media, but 
the decoration of its columns incorporated elements of 
the most admired arts of the peoples of the empire. 

Darius next undertook the construction of Persep- 
olis south of Pasargadae in the region where Anzan 
had been abandoned. He carved his tomb in the cliff- 
face of neighboring Naqsh-i Rustam, the old Elamite 
cult site (see above, p. 8). The tomb's facade imitates 
that of a columned palace; above is a large two-tiered 
podium supported by personifications of the peoples of 

the empire, armed because they are free men. They 
replaced the mythical bearers of the elements of the 
world represented by the Assyrians, and an imperial 
concept supplanted a mythical cosmology that was no 
longer valid. At that time a revival occurred of the 
imagery associated with the birth of the first nations, a 
theme that had been illustrated on the Elamite rock 
reliefs of southern Iran at Kul-i Farah near Izeh/ 
Malamir as early as the end of the second millennium 
(fig. 14, p. 12). On the symbolic podium of Darius' 
tomb facade, the king stands in prayer before a flaming 
altar and beneath a divine figure, which is inside a 
winged sun disk. Lacking precise literary references, 
we cannot be sure that the figure represents Ahura 
Mazda, the supreme Zoroastrian divinity, rather than 
a personification of the Achaemenid dynasty. 

At Persepolis we do not find a single coherent 

The History of Art in Iran | 15 

complex like the palace at Susa. Instead, the Iranian 
tradition asserted itself in the erection of independent 
but complementary buildings. Back-to-back against 
his residential palace Darius set the apadana, a replica 
of the one at Susa. Its two facades were punctuated by 
two pairs of stairways framing a large relief that repre- 
sents the enthroned Xerxes, successor to Darius, re- 
ceiving delegations of the twenty-three nations of the 
empire (fig. 16). This was the predominant theme of 
Achaemenid imperial art, elaborated here in propor- 
tions that harmonize with the monumental size of the 
building. The relief is sculpted with a goldsmith's 
refinement, and loving attention is given to the de- 
tailed representation of the precious metalwork so 
highly valued by the ancestors of the Persians. Xerxes 
later erected an even more enormous hall at Persepolis, 
its roof supported by one hundred columns. In the 
decoration of this hall the theme of empire was taken 
up again, with subject peoples carrying the royal po- 
dium. The old motif of the "master of animals'' also 
recurs in the decoration of the buildings at Persepolis, 

but by that time the figure must have been identified as 
the "Persian man," whose supreme embodiment was 
the Great King. 

Ancient themes were thus infused with new sym- 
bolism, and the eclectic art of the Persians signaled the 
advent of a new age. A decisive historical turning 
point had been reached in the history of Iran. An era 
that lasted some three thousand years, inaugurated by 
the Sumerians of Mesopotamia in close association 
with the Susians, had come to an end. The age of 
classical antiquity had just begun, soon to be domi- 
nated by Greece and by a Greek philosophical human- 
ism that would never be more than superficially 
adopted by the powerfully individual Iranians. 

pierre amiet 


1. [This is the Akkadian form of the rulers name. The Elamite form 
has been reconstructed as Kutik-Inshushinak. — Ed.] 

The French Scientific Delegation in Persia 

In 1897 the French government created the Delegation 
Scientifique Frangaise en Perse and provided it with 
more substantial funding than had ever before been 
available in the field of archaeology. The stakes were 
high, and arrangements on a large scale were impera- 
tive: in an agreement signed in 1895, Shah Nasir al- 
Din (r. 1848-96) had granted France the monopoly on 
excavations throughout Persia. 

At the start of unofficial negotiations with the 
Persian government, France had not contemplated tak- 
ing charge of all the archaeological research in Persia. 
The goal then was far less ambitious and more precise. 
Prodded by French scholars, the government simply 
intended to take the measures necessary to avoid pos- 
sible eviction from the site of Susa, and by the same 
token to put an end to the rivalries with other nations 
that had marked the first explorations of the great 
Assyrian capitals in northern Mesopotamia, then un- 
der Ottoman Turkish rule. Great Britain had a certain 
claim to priority in the exploration of Susa, since the 
site had been identified in 1851 by two Englishmen, 
Colonel W. E Williams and the geologist William 
Kennett Loftus, and excavations had been undertaken 
there by Loftus in 1853-54. 

However, it is the French engineer Marcel-Auguste 
Dieulafoy accompanied by his wife, Jane, who de- 
serves the credit for demonstrating the site's excep- 
tional interest. The couple visited Susa for the first 
time during a trip across Persia in 1881 and 1882, and 
on their return Dieulafoy convinced the National Mu- 
seums to underwrite an excavation. Despite extremely 
modest financing, the excavations conducted between 
1884 and 1886 in the area of the palace of Darius proved 
fruitful. The vestiges of the palace of the Great Kings, 
shipped to France aboard the cruiser Sane, still consti- 
tute the core of the Louvre's Susa collection. 

Although the French government could take satis- 
faction in the achievements of these first campaigns, 

the future of the excavations remained uncertain. Be- 
cause it was unable to guarantee the mission's safety, in 
1886 the Persian government demanded a suspension 
of the work. Thereafter, no request for authorization 
could be presented to the Shah, who was unfavorably 
disposed to the project because it was causing distur- 
bances among the local population. 

For almost ten years the French Legation in Tehe- 
ran watched over the site, awaiting the resumption 
of negotiations. Finally, on May 12, 1895, an agree- 
ment was signed by the Shah and the French Legation. 
The definitive text was not drawn up, however, until 
the summer of 1900, when Shah Muzzaffar al-Din 
(r. 1896-1907), son of and successor to Shah Nasir al- 
Din, signed a treaty on his way through Paris: every- 
thing discovered in Susiana would go to France, 
provided that a stipulated compensation was made for 
the gold and silver objects. 

The Delegation, created to take full advantage of 
the monopoly obtained by France, remained in exis- 
tence some fifteen years. The prestige of this organiza- 
tion derived entirely from the man who was master of 
its destiny: Jacques de Morgan. When he was appoin- 
ted head of the Delegation at barely forty, Morgan 
stood at the pinnacle of his career. This mining engi- 
neer whose work had taken him around the world had 
harbored a passion for prehistory since childhood, and 
he had adroitly combined his professional activities as 
a prospector with his taste for archaeology After a trip 
to the Caucasus he had explored northern Persia in the 
years from 1889 to 1891 and then traveled through the 
rest of the country, ending up at Susa. 

When the French government entrusted the direc- 
tion of the Delegation to Morgan he was head of the 
Office of Antiquities in Egypt, where he had been since 
1892. Morgan's brilliant achievements there, which 
were diplomatic as well as scientific, had brought him 
great acclaim. His discoveries at the necropolis of 


The French Scientific Delegation in Persia 

18 | Susa in the Ancient Near East 

Dashur excited worldwide interest; his investigations 
into Egyptian prehistory were decisive. But Morgan 
had not forgotten Persia, and in 1897 he eagerly took 
up his new responsibilities, which were considerable. 
Never before had the head of a mission commanded 
such extensive resources and such complete authority 
both scientific and administrative. In terms of diplo- 
macy it was Morgan, drawing on the extensive knowl- 
edge of the "area he had acquired during his travels 
and working with the French Legation, who set in mo- 
tion the developments that made possible the treaty 
of 1900. 

The strategic center of the Delegation was Susa, 
where Morgan set up camp at the end of 1897. Condi- 
tions were insecure in this part of Iran, and the Dele- 
gation was beset by pillaging tribes who roamed from 
one side to the other of the Ottoman-Persian border. 
To protect his staff from these raids once and for all, 
early in 1898 Morgan began the construction of a 

residence on the north of the Acropole that rapidly 
assumed the aspect of a medieval chateau (fig. 18). 

Of the Delegation's original team, the majority 
were men who had earned Morgan's esteem in 
Egypt: Gustave Jequier, an Egyptologist, and Georges 
Lampre, secretary-general of the Delegation, who 
knew Persia well. They were joined in 1898 by the 
eminent Assyriologist Father Vincent Scheil (see fig. 
19). There were personnel changes over the years, but 
the Delegation was supported by the continuing efforts 
of Scheil and of Roland de Mecquenem, a young min- 
ing engineer hired in 1903. Despite his youth, Mec- 
quenem often took Morgan's place in the field; from 
1908 on, he did so permanently 

Morgan aspired to conduct an overall study of 
Persia's archaeological riches without neglecting other 
scientific fields of inquiry, notably geography, geology, 
and natural history However, there were not enough 
funds to support such diversified research, so the Dele- 

Figure 18. Maurice Pillet, Apadana Columns and Chateau, 1913. Watercolor on paper, h. in. (37 cm). Coll. Mme. Etienne Pillet, Le 
Chesnay, France 

The French Scientific Delegation in Persia \ 19 

gation directed its efforts to its principal objective: 
Susa. This decision seemed justified both by the im- 
portance of the findings, scrupulously published for 
the benefit of scholars in Memoires de la Delegation 
en Perse, and by the prestige of the collections brought 
back to the Louvre. Nevertheless, Morgan found him- 
self condemned for his choice, attacked by some of his 
collaborators, and fatigued by his overlong stays in the 
Orient. He resigned in 1912, and the Delegation Scien- 
tifique Frangaise en Perse came to an end. 

The agreement that had led to the creation of the 
Delegation was not repealed until 1927, although long 
before that time France had lost any real monopoly in 
the region. But if the Delegation was defunct, the 
mission in Susa lived on. Mecquenem assumed direc- 
tion of the work until 1946, followed by Roman 
Ghirshman and finally, starting in 1968, Jean Perrot. 
Only the two world wars and the Islamic revolution of 
1979 have interrupted nearly a century of French ex- 
ploration in Susiana. 


A History of Excavation at Susa: Personalities and 
Archaeological Methodologies 

Full of emotion, I struck the first blow with the pick on the 
Achaemenidaean tumulus and worked until my strength gave out. 
My husband then took his turn with the pick, while our acolytes 
carried away the loose earth. This is how the excavations at Susa 
were begun. 1 


The history of the archaeological investigation of Susa 
begins well before 1884, the year that Marcel-Auguste 
Dieulafoy and Jane Dieulafoy his wife and colleague 
(fig. 21), embarked on their excavations. In the first 
half of the nineteenth century, the conjunction of a 
variety of factors — among them the determination of 
western European nations to further their political 
interests, thorough familiarity with the Bible, and a 
general intellectual curiosity about exotic times and 
places — resulted in a flowering of archaeological ex- 
ploration in the Near East. Excavations conducted at 

Susa and other ancient Near Eastern cities eventually 
played a major role ift the transformation of archaeol- 
ogy from a hobby to an academic discipline. 2 

Soldiers and Diplomats (1850-53) 

Susa (Shushan) was the opulent setting for the story of 
Esther and is described in the Book of Daniel as the 
"fortress of Susa in the province of Elam" (Dan. 8:2). 

Figure 20. H. A. Churchill, Double Demi-bulls, 1852, a drawing of an Achaememd column capital from the Apadana 
mound at Susa. Pencil on paper, H. 115/8 in. (29.4 cm). London, the British Museum 


A History of Excavation at Susa \ 21 

Figure 21. Jane Dieulafoy, 1886 

The ancient city's biblical pedigree and its location in a 
boundary zone between Mesopotamia and Iran in- 
spired William Kennett Loftus — the discoverer of 
Warka (Uruk) in southern Mesopotamia — to visit, 
map, and then excavate Susa in the years 1850-53. 
Loftus and his colleagues, all members of a British 
boundary commission attempting to settle claims of 
the rival Persian and Ottoman empires, were moon- 
lighting as archaeologists. They confirmed that Susa 
was indeed biblical Shushan, identified the apadana 
(the columned audience hall of the Achaemenid kings), 
and produced an accurate contour map of the mounds. 

The Romantic Dieulafoys (1884-86) 

Excavations at Susa resumed in 1884-85 under the 
direction of the Dieulafoys. Marcel- Auguste Dieu- 
lafoy (1844-1920) was an engineer, soldier, and archi- 
tectural historian seeking "the oriental connections 
with Gothic art in Europe"; his plan reconstructing 
the Achaemenid fortifications and palaces is "possibly 
one of the greatest speculative tours de force extant in 
archaeological literature. "3 Jane Dieulafoy 's colorful 
and richly illustrated accounts of the couple's adven- 
tures and their excavations in Susiana and Iran stimu- 

lated public interest in her husband's scientific proj- 
ects. 4 An enormous Achaemenid bull's-head capital 
(fig. 20) and the famous glazed brick frieze of the 
archers (Nos. 155, 156), said to have been restored with 
the assistance of the ceramic factory in Sevres, were 
among the most spectacular treasures shipped back 
and exhibited in the Louvre. 

The Mining Engineers: Morgan (1897-1908) 
and mecquenem (1908-46) 

In 1897 Jacques de Morgan, a graduate of the Ecole des 
Mines and an experienced miner, geologist, and ar- 
chaeologist, took up the excavations at Susa. He and 
his assistants were unfamiliar with the excavation of 
mud-brick architecture, and they believed it was 
pointless to keep track of uneven natural levels that 
could not be identified. 5 Therefore they focused their 
efforts on the Acropole, which Morgan considered the 
most important and most ancient of the mounds at 
Susa. The principal mounds of Susa were given their 
names — Acropole, Ville Royale, Donjon, Ville des Ar- 
tisans, and Apadana — during the period of their exca- 
vation by the Dieulafoys and Morgan (see fig. 3, 
p. xvii). Only the name Apadana has a historical 


basis: an apadana, or columned audience hall, stood 
on this site (see pp. 14, 216). 

Morgan devised a plan, almost frightening in its 
efficiency, for the complete excavation of the Acropole 
mound. He dug a series of mining tunnels into the 
high vertical face of the southeast corner of the Acro- 
pole at various heights, to obtain material from differ- 
ent levels and establish a relative chronology for the 
site; then he systematically excavated the mound, cut- 
ting trenches 16/2 feet long and 16/2 feet wide (5 m 
square). 6 Stripping the Acropole at a rapid pace, Mor- 
gan uncovered early on many of the most famous 
monuments in this catalogue. Immediately below Par- 
thian and Achaemenid layers, toward the center of the 
mound, he discovered the richly adorned temples of 
the Elamite kings, where the booty captured from 
Mesopotamian cities may have been displayed (see 
pp. 159 ft). 

Morgan soon realized that completely excavating 
the Acropole was impossible. He made his trench 
smaller and began working downward in the grande 
tranchee, 333 feet (100 m) long, at the Acropole's 
southwestern edge (fig. 22). He started to find Proto- 
Elamite tablets 7 in 1901. By 1906-7 he had reached 
virgin soil and discovered the now-famous cemetery. 
At the top of Level III, approximately 50 feet (15 m) 
below the top of the mound, he ran into a mass of terre 
pilee, or hard-packed, archaeologically sterile earth, 
and stepped his trench in at this point to avoid it, 
giving the north wall of the excavation the appearance 
of an open pit mine. 

The nature and shape of the mud-brick mass found 
on the Acropole by Morgan was only elucidated in 
1972-77, when the sides and bottom of the grande 
tranchee were reexcavated (see below). The mud-brick 
core of the site has been given the name haute terrasse 
and is thought to have been a stepped temple platform 
(see fig. 23, p. 27). Opposite this high terrace toward 
the western flank of the tell and at a deeper level, 
Morgan's trench cut through a smaller mass of un- 
baked brick that was taken to be a town wall or the base 
of a rampart. Now called the massif funeraire, it is 
where the cemetery, containing a large number of 
burials (estimated at eight hundred to one thousand by 
Dyson), was found. Funerary gifts, which were a part 
of these burials, included finely crafted ceramics that 
have attracted the attention of art historians, archae- 
ologists, and the lay public. 

It is often said that the early excavators of Susa 
were mining the site only to bring objects back for 
display in the Louvre. Morgan, however, had hoped to 

discover the origins of civilization. He was disap- 
pointed in the yield of his grande tranchee because the 
fine ceramics and copper objects found in the earliest 
burials were still far removed from the early stage 
of human development whose tangible remains he 

Morgan's assistant, Roland de Mecquenem, took 
over as field director of the project in 1908. Mec- 
quenem, like Morgan, was a graduate of the Ecole des 
Mines. He continued work on the Acropole and exca- 
vated below the courtyards of the palace of Darius and 
east of the apadana. Later he expanded the excavations 
to the Ville Royale and into the area called the Donjon. 

By the thirties and forties archaeology in the Near 
East had changed, with most excavators using the 
" organic" approach that called for following mud-brick 
buildings and their floor levels. Mecquenem, however, 
persisted in the application of Morgan's methods. He 
had little regard for the mud-brick architecture that 
made up the ancient city, and although he reported 
having excavated a well-preserved mud-brick struc- 
ture in the Ville Royale which he identified as a temple 
on the strength of several terracotta lions found near it, 
a plan was never published. 

Mecquenem's lack of interest in mud-brick archi- 
tecture 8 and his ignorance of the Elamite practice of 
intramural burial (burial beneath the floors of houses) 
led him to the false conclusion that much of Susa, 
outside the Acropole and Apadana, had been enor- 
mous cemeteries, or buttes funer aires. In fact, these 
areas are city quarters with architectural complexes 
that contain intramural burials. Many of the small 
objects of the third and second millennia catalogued in 
this book, particularly the sculpted bitumen com- 
pound vessels and much of the metalwork, come from 
graves Mecquenem excavated in the Donjon and the 
Ville Royale. 

Roman Ghirshman, the humanist (1946-67) 

Unlike his predecessors, Roman Ghirshman was inter- 
ested in historical archaeology. In his first years at 
Susa he targeted for excavation the northern part of the 
Ville Royale, opposite the Achaemenid royal palace, 
and an area off the main mounds called the Ville des 
Artisans. Beginning in 1946 he excavated an area of 
about 2.4 acres (1 ha) in the northern part of the Ville 
Royale (Ville Royale A) and instituted a second major 
operation in a part of the Ville des Artisans called the 
Village Perse- Achemenide, or Achaemenid Village. 9 

A History of Excavation at Susa | 23 

Figure 22. Maurice Pillet, The Great Trench (Jacques de 
Morgan's grande tranchee), 1913. Watercolor on paper, 
H. 19/4 in. (49 cm). Coll. Mme. Etienne Pillet, Le 
Chesnay, France 

Subsequently, from 1951 to 1962, Ghirshman focused 
his attention on the city now known as Chogha Zanbil, 
64 miles southeast of Susa on the banks of the Diz, 
particularly its ziggurat (stepped temple tower). This 
was the city of the Middle Elamite king Untash- 
Napirisha. Ghirshman's work there yielded results 
that are his most lasting contribution to Elamite 
studies. 10 

At Susa, each year Ghirshman cleared an architec- 
tural level greater than 2 acres in extent in the Ville 
Royale A, emphasizing horizontal exposure over strat- 
igraphic precision. In 1966 he reached virgin soil at a 
level of about 50 feet (15 m) below the surface in Ville 

Royale A and opened a much smaller trench on the 
southwestern edge of the Ville Royale (Ville Royale B). 
These excavations have yielded information on city 
planning and urban life in addition to an almost con- 
tinuous ceramic sequence reaching from the late third 
to the end of the second millennium B.C. 

The Prehistorian, Jean Perrot (1967-90) 

Jean Perrot was the first to employ modern methods of 
stratigraphic excavation at Susa/ 1 and to implement 
them he assembled a multidisciplinary international 


team. In cooperation with the Iranian Centre for Ar- 
chaeological Research under the direction of Firuz 
Bagherzadeh, active professional and student partici- 
pation in all phases of the project was initiated. Perrot 's 
aims included establishing an archaeological and cul- 
tural sequence within which all the findings could be 
located chronologically, both for the site of Susa and for 
the earlier prehistoric mounds of Susiana. 12 A reliable 
stratigraphic sequence would provide a cultural his- 
tory of the city and would eventually lead to the 
establishing of dates for objects from Susa that are 
without clear provenance. Toward this end, strati- 
graphic control operations were carried out at the edges 
of the old trenches dug by Morgan and Mecquenem. In 
the operation called Acropole I, Alain Le Brun worked 
on sections dating from about 4000 to 3000 B.C. , 
carefully cleaning a section of the old trench sidewall 
where a pillar of earth, called the temoin, or witness, 
had been left by earlier excavators as a record of all the 
excavated layers. Per rot and Denis Canal opened a 
second operation called Acropole II, attacking the earth 
mass or haute terrasse from the side of the old Morgan 
grande tranchee and eventually gaining some insight 
into the original size and orientation of the stepped 
temple platform. 

In the Ville Royale (Ville Royale I), Elizabeth Car- 
ter worked on the period from about 3000 to 2000 B.C. 
The period from about 2000 to 1000 B.C. was known 
through the Ghirshman excavations in the Ville Royale 
(A and B), and Pierre de Miroschedji undertook to 
clarify the transition period from the last centuries 
of the second millennium to the middle of the first 
millennium B.C., focusing on the Late Middle Elam- 
ite through the Neo-Elamite period (ca. 1200-540 
B.C.) (Ville Royale II). 

This catalogue gives some indication of how much 
can be learned from a long-term archaeological project 
(in this case, more than one hundred years) focused on 
the history and culture of a single ancient city. 1 ^ 



1. Jane Dieulafoy, 1887a, p. 10. 

2. Hudson, 1981, pp. 69-98. 

3. Dyson, 1968, pp. 25, 26. 

4. Jane Dieulafoy, 1887b, 1888. An interesting biography is Eve 
and Jean Gran-Aymeric, Jane Dieulafoy— une vie d'homme 
(Paris, 1991). 

5. Morgan's example should serve as a warning to present-day 
archaeologists who discard objects and disregard contexts that 
they cannot understand. 

6. The mound, whose height was taken to be a fixed 35 meters 
(160 ft.), was divided into seven artificial levels each 5 meters 
(about 23 ft.) in height. Trenches, 5 meters wide and the length 
of the tell, were laid out at right angles to a central axis that 
bisected the tell from north-northwest to south-southeast. 
Slices of the mound were then removed, working from the 
outside of the tell toward the center. As many as 1200 workers 
were employed, as well as large numbers of mining wagons. 
Architectural remains, but only those of baked brick, were 
mapped in each strip, and several architectural levels were 
combined on each plan. Morgan left to his successor the impos- 
sible task of putting together the plans of the Elamite levels on 
the Acropole. Dyson (1968, p. 29) gives the details of this type 
of excavation method. 

7. So called because they were clearly more archaic than the 
Elamite cuneiform inscriptions found in the upper levels of the 

8. Clearly expressed in his comments on the work conducted by 
Georges Lampre and J.-E. Gautier at Tepe Moussian in the Deh 
Luran plain : "II nous est difficile de comprendre la methode du 
fouilleur; nombreux grattages; fouille methodique d'une 
maison en brique crues . . . ." Mecquenem, 1980, p. 15. 

9. Ghirshman was interested in the coming of the Indo- Iranian 
populations into Iran and their establishment there. He 
thought he had identified the first settlement of a newly arrived 
Achaemenid population in Susa. We now know that the earliest 
level of the village dates to the Neo-Elamite II period (ca. 
725-520 B.C.), but the name Achaemenid Village remains. See 
Roman Ghirshman, "Village perse-achemenide," MDP 36 
(1954); Miroschedji, 1981b, pp. 38-40; idem, " Observations 
dans les couches neo-elamites au nord-ouest du tell de la Ville 
Royale a Suse," DAF1 12 (1981), pp. 143-67. 

10. For a complete bibliography of his excavations in Susa and 
its surroundings, see Steve, Gasche, and De Meyer, 1980, 
pp. 107-16. 

11. See Roche, 1990, pp. ix-xiii. 

12. The establishment of the Susiana sequence was carried out by 
Genevieve Dollfus. 

13. The results of the work of Perrot and his colleagues were 
summarized in Perrot et al., 1989. The most recent excavations 
are reported in the series Cahiers de la Delegation Archeolo- 
gique Francaise en Iran (DAFI). 

Ihe first period of occupation at Susa, from about 
4200 to 3700 B.C., is known as Susa I. 1 Susa became the regional center of what is now central 
Khuzistan province shortly after its foundation. Two discoveries, the massif funeraire with its many 
burials and the haute terrasse, a mud-brick platform with the remains of a local ceremonial center on 
top of it — both dated to this early period — suggest that Susa's importance as a religious center was a 
major reason for its growth. 2 Elaborate painted ceramics and stamp seals with complicated scenes 
link the material culture of Susa to the Iranian highlands and distinguish Susian artifacts from those 
of the contemporary 'Ubaid cultures that flourished 125 miles to the west in southern Mesopotamia. 
The political affiliations of Susa at this time are unknown. 


1. The first four periods of Susa's occupation are defined archaeologically because very little written documentation for them exists. See Frank 
Hole in Hole, ed., 1987, pp. 29-106. 

2. The approximate dimensions of the massif funeraire are unknown. The lowest stage of the haute terrasse is about 260 feet (80 m) square 
and about 33 feet (10 m) high. Canal, 1978b, pp. 11-55; P- 4° an< ^ ^8 S - I- 3' 7* 

2 5 

The Cemetery of Susa: An Interpretation 

Early-Fourth-Millennium Susa 

Shortly after Susa was first settled six thousand years 
ago, its inhabitants declared the importance of the spot 
by erecting a temple on a monumental platform that 
rose dramatically over the flat surrounding landscape. 
The exceptional nature of the site is still recognizable 
today in the artistry of the ceramic vessels that were 
placed as offerings in a thousand or more graves near 
the base of the temple platform. 

The thirteen vessels in the present exhibition are a 
mere sample of the two thousand pots recovered from 
this cemetery most of them now in the Louvre. 
Workers under the direction of the eminent French 
archaeologist and geologist Jacques de Morgan found 
the cemetery in the first decade of this century while 
they were exploring the lowest layers of the site, whose 
elaborately painted ceramics had piqued the excavator's 
interest. 1 Although the records of the early archaeolo- 
gists do not provide enough information to reconstruct 
the exact circumstances that led to the creation of the 
cemetery, the vessels themselves are eloquent testi- 
mony to the artistic and technical achievements of 
their makers, and they hold clues about the organiza- 
tion of the society that commissioned them. 

Painted ceramic vessels from Susa in the earliest 
'first style" are a late, regional version of the Meso- 
potamian 'Ubaid ceramic tradition that spread across 
the Near East during the fifth millennium B.C. It is 
probable, although debated, that the Susa I pottery 
style persisted somewhat longer than the 'Ubaid style 
did in southern Mesopotamia. In any case, the ce- 
ramics from this site represent a florescence unpar- 
alleled in the 'Ubaid tradition and unequaled in any 
other prehistoric culture of the Near East. Neverthe- 
less, despite its unique character, the Susa I style was 
very much a product of the past and of influences from 
contemporary ceramic industries in the mountains of 

western Iran. 2 It may be seen as the hybrid offspring 
of traditions of many regions, part of a brief surge of 
creative activity that occurred during a time of clima- 
tic change and consequent social upheaval in the last 
half of the fifth millennium. 

The Cemetery and the Founding of Susa 

The vessels in this catalogue all came from a cemetery 
partially cut into a low mud-brick platform, called the 
massif funeraire by its excavators. It is located near 
the base of a monumental mud-brick platform, called 
the haute terrasse, which probably supported temples 
and other related buildings on the Acropole mound 
(fig. 23). Although funerary vessels were found on the 
site as early as 1902, the cemetery was not actually 
recognized as such until the seasons of 1906-8, when 
Morgan widened his 25 -meter-deep trenches (82 ft.) 
in the area where the vessels had been found. 3 This 
excavation, along with work in 1927 and 1936-37 by 
Morgan's successor at Susa, Roland de Mecquenem,4 
and finally, further excavation by Jean Perrot and Denis 
Canal in the 19705,^ provides the basis for our under- 
standing of the cemetery. 

The brief published accounts by Morgan and Mec- 
quenem differ in important details. Morgan, the prin- 
cipal excavator, reported 6 finding a cemetery of graves 
with at least one thousand fully extended skeletons (an 
estimate doubled in a later publication), each accom- 
panied by three or four ceramic vessels (fig. 24). He 
stated that the cemetery covered an area of almost a 
fifth of an acre (some 750 square meters) and that the 
bodies had been stacked one on top of the other to a 
depth of ten feet. 7 Mecquenem, digging two decades 


The Cemetery of Susa | 27 

Figure 23. Plan of the Acropole mound ca. 4000 B.C. showing Susa I 
structures and cemetery, by Frank Hole and Nicholas Kouchoukos 

Figure 24. Early reconstruction of a Susa I burial 

later in the same area, apparently took the low mud- 
brick platform into which graves had been cut for the 
cemetery. He then "corrected" Morgan's description, 
asserting that the cemetery consisted of a circular area 
only forty feet in diameter in which secondary burials 
were stacked to a height of ten to thirteen feet. 8 Ac- 
cording to his " recollections'' (it is not certain that he 
actually witnessed the original excavation of the ceme- 
tery), the skulls were usually set in bowls and the long 
bones in tall beakers. In retrospect this seems unlikely 
since there are no reported discoveries of bones of 
deceased adults placed in vessels at any other site in the 
Near East. 9 However, if we simply accept the premise 
that some burials in the cemetery were fractional — 
meaning that not all the bones are present— as has 
been demonstrated by Perrot and Canal, the necessary 
corollary is that interment took place after the flesh 
had decomposed. 10 Either the burials took place after 
bodies had lain in a charnel house, or the bones were 
exhumed from normal burials and reburied. Frac- 
tional burials take little space; if this was the typical 
mode of interment, and if the arrangement was very 
compact, Morgan's mound might conceivably have 
held the two thousand burials of his later estimate. 

The most important points to be inferred from the 
limited evidence are: first, the cemetery covered a 
relatively small area; second, clean earth surrounded 
the bodies; third, the bodies were stacked closely one 
upon the other; fourth, many burials took place after 
the flesh had decomposed; and fifth, a large number of 
the burials occurred more or less simultaneously. 

The last point needs to be stressed. Cemeteries 
were usually quite extensive, as there was a need to 
accommodate the individual tombs and to ensure that 
one grave would not encroach upon another. Rarely if 
ever were bodies closely stacked one above another. 
The most reasonable explanation for the apparent vio- 
lation of these principles at Susa is that the bodies were 
all buried at the same time. 11 In this hypothetical 
reconstruction, sometime after the flesh had decom- 
posed from the skeletons of a thousand or more 
corpses, their bones and pots were gathered up for 
interment in a huge common grave. After each layer of 
human remains and pottery was laid in place, it was 
covered withi a thin layer of clean earth. Perhaps the 
bones of a number of the dead had been gathered and 
placed in the ceramic vessels associated with them, as 
Mecquenem indicated; however, it is clear from both 
the original excavations and the most recent ones that 
this was not always the case. 

28 I Prehistoric Susa 

If a simultaneous interment seems the most proba- 
ble explanation for this unusual find, what could have 
caused such an extraordinary event? In searching for 
answers we should consider the possibility of a 
widespread phenomenon and examine a region greater 
than Susa itself. 

Environmental Changes 

In the period around 4000 B.C., southern Meso- 
potamia was undergoing a profound climatic change 
which resulted in the abandonment of many sites and 
the general depopulation of entire regions. The same 
phenomenon is seen particularly well in western Iran 
in the area stretching from the lowlands surrounding 
Susa to the mountain valleys and plateaus of the 
Zagros. 12 The depopulation began as early as 4500 
B.C. and culminated just after 4000 B.C., when clima- 
tic conditions set in that were similar to those of 
the present day, and populations slowly began to 
grow again. 

Underlying these changes was a gradual decrease 
in the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth 
during the summer months, caused by changes in the 
planet's orbit and tilt in relation to the sun. The de- 
crease in solar radiation affected the route of the mon- 
soon storms, which today move through the southern 
part of the Arabian peninsula but which brought rain- 
fall to southern Mesopotamia in the sixth and fifth 
millennia b.c. 1 ^ At the same time the sea level rose 
rapidly, flooding the land around the Persian Gulf. 1 * 
And, as they met the rising sea level, the Tigris, Eu- 
phrates, and Kharkheh rivers dropped enormous 
amounts of silt on the alluvial plain. Thus, the people 
of the fifth millennium experienced the rapid transfor- 
mation of their landscape and what seems to have been 
a very abrupt change in patterns of rainfall, which 
must have seriously affected both their agriculture 
and the pastureland for their flocks. 

Despite a general decline in the populations of most 
regions during the second half of the fifth millennium, 
a few sites grew considerably larger; some of these, 
such as Susa, Warka, and Eridu, had large temples. ^ 
The understandable emphasis on religion during this 
time of acute stress reflects one way people coped with 
exigencies that seemed to be out of direct human 
control, as climate certainly was. 

During the latter part of the fifth millennium a 
number of populous sites apparently experienced 

strife — burning and destruction. Susa may in fact 
have been founded in the aftermath of one such event. 
At the nearby site of Chogha Mish, fire destroyed the 
central precinct consisting of monumental buildings, 
and subsequently the town was abandoned; 16 at about 
the same time the first settlement was begun at Susa, 
perhaps by refugees from Chogha Mish. The new site 
was along the Shaur River on a pair of hills twenty- five 
feet high, a spot where no one had lived before. 

Both these facts — the site's previously uninhabited 
state and the hills underlying it — are not easily ex- 
plained. It is possible that the Shaur River changed 
course around 4000 B.C., allowing access to the site for 
the first time, but it is difficult to understand the 
presence of twenty-five-foot hills in a region of nearly 
flat landscapes. The excavation reports all agree that 
beneath Susa lie these hills of "yellow clay," an appar- 
ently natural geological deposit. ^ However, since such 
hills are not to be found elsewhere on the plain, we may 
at least speculate that they were raised by the first 
settlers to provide a base for their temple and village. A 
site that had recently emerged from a marsh, along a 
potentially flooding river, might have required such a 
foundation, although the size of this earthwork would 
have been unprecedented for its time and greatly ex- 
ceeds that of the high platform built upon it. 

Unlike its predecessor Chogha Mish, which sat 
squarely in the center of the fertile agricultural plain 
of Susiana, Susa was situated at the plain's edge. The 
relocation may have had something to do with the 
decrease in rainfall, which made river-bottom land 
more valuable for agriculture than plains land. 

The Platform or Haute Terrasse on 
the acropole 

Susa was the regional religious center, to judge from 
the presence in its midst of a platform some 260 feet 
long which stood perhaps 30 feet above the surround- 
ing settlement and nearly 60 feet above the flat sur- 
rounding plain. 18 One of the first structures on the 
Acropole mound had been a low mud-brick platform, 
the massif funeraire, into which some Susa I burials 
were cut. Some time later the high platform, or haute 
terrasse, was built only 35 feet to the north. 

The high platform probably rose in a series of 
steps; on the excavated, southern side, the lowermost 
step is preserved. Temples and associated buildings, 
such as storerooms and possibly a charnel house, stood 

The Cemetery of Susa \ 29 

atop the platform. x 9 Fragmentary remains of architec- 
ture recovered from the top of the platform allow a 
tentative reconstruction of the buildings. This stepped 
platform was unfortunately destroyed, perhaps when 
the buildings on its summit were burned. The facade 
of the platform collapsed around its base, along with 
burned debris. After rebuilding and a possible aban- 
donment, the facade collapsed again. Although people 
continued to live at Susa, it is not clear whether they 
rebuilt the platform once more. Eventually the erec- 
tion of other structures on the remains of the platform 
obliterated most traces of the earlier buildings. 

The burning of buildings on the high platform on 
the Acropole mound is paralleled by the destruction of 
the contemporary Susa I settlement on the Apadana 
mound and reflects the tumultuous times of the late 
fifth-early fourth millennium B.C., which saw simi- 
lar destructions at other large Iranian sites such as 
Tepe Sialk to the north and Tal-i Bakun to the south- 
east of Susa 20 as well as the abandonment of fertile 
regions, both on the lowland plains and in the moun- 
tains, that previously had been well populated. 21 

Ceramic Vessels from the Cemetery 

Approximately one thousand restored vessels from the 
cemetery are in the Louvre and the National Antiqui- 
ties Museum at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Another five 
hundred or so remain in Iran, and perhaps five hun- 
dred more belong to the Louvre but are still unre- 
stored. Thus, approximately two thousand of the three 
to eight thousand vessels reported by Morgan can be 
accounted for. Because this collection is large, intact, 
and accessible, it affords a unique opportunity for the 
study of stylistic variation and variability at one site 
over a short period of time. Moreover, vessels may be 
studied that were made primarily for display rather 
than for daily use and that make up a coherent burial 
assemblage. (Careful surface surveys of hundreds of 
prehistoric sites around Susa have turned up few ce- 
ramics of the type characteristic of burials, and excava- 
tions have shown that domestic pottery consisted 
largely of coarser, utilitarian wares. While we cannot 
be certain that the pottery pieces found with the 
burials had not been in daily use, 22 it is clear that most 
often only certain types of vessels, highly decorated 
and fragile, were included with the burials.) 

The pottery is carefully made by hand. Although a 
slow wheel may have been employed, the asymmetry 

of the vessels and the irregularity in the drawing of 
encircling lines and bands indicate that most of the 
work was done freehand. 

The recurrence in close association of vessels of 
three types — a drinking goblet or beaker, a serving 
dish, and a small jar — implies the consumption of 
three types of food, apparently thought to be as neces- 
sary for life in the afterworld as it is in this one. 
Ceramics of these shapes, which were painted, consti- 
tute a large proportion of the vessels from the ceme- 
tery. Others are coarse cooking- type jars and bowls 
with simple bands painted on them and were probably 
the grave goods of the site's humbler citizens, includ- 
ing adolescents and perhaps children. Infants were 
generally buried separately. 

Individuality is the hallmark of the painted vessels. 
Although at first glance many of them appear quite 
similar, almost invariably each contains a motif or 
combination of motifs that is not to be found on an- 
other vessel. Clearly, these wares were not repetitively 
mass-produced. They were made to be different, al- 
though all strictly follow local canons of composition, 
layout, and the use of motifs. The entire corpus reflects 
a wide range of skills in manufacturing and painting, 
with only a few reaching the highest level. Some of the 
finest examples, very likely made for the elite of Su- 
sian society, were widely copied. The variety and indi- 
viduality of these specialized wares indicate that there 
were many artisans producing them. The vessels ap- 
parently were used for display and on special occasions, 
and in the end they were placed in the grave with 
their owners. 

This pervasive individuality is not, however, to be 
found in one group of tall beakers which displays little 
variation in design. They all show a band of large 
V-shapes encircling the body (No. 12). The anomalous 
uniformity of these beakers suggests that they were all 
manufactured and painted during one brief period and 
perhaps by one workshop. This might have occurred 
during a catastrophic episode of the type described 
earlier. The beakers' similarity of shape, proportion, 
and design seem to indicate mass production, whereas 
their large size and fragility suggest that they were not 
strictly utilitarian objects. However, sherds with simi- 
lar designs have been found on the surfaces of other 

Analysis of the styles and forms of the cemetery 
vessels suggests that they were manufactured over 
several generations. However, as was already noted, the 
closely packed remains in the cemetery point to one 
general interment. How might simultaneous burials 

30 | Prehistoric Susa 

be reconciled with the variations in age of the ceramic 
vessels? One possible explanation is that, as discussed 
earlier, bodies with their associated grave goods accu- 
mulated over a long period of time in a charnel house, 
and bones and pottery were later reburied en masse. To 
account for the debris and skeletal remains he found at 
the base of the platform, Canal inferred that a charnel 
house had burned during the Susa I destruction. 2 3 In 
this scenario, although the burials were simultaneous, 
the deaths took place over an extended period of time. 

Another explanation is that the deaths themselves 
occurred simultaneously. In this case the chronologi- 
cal and stylistic range displayed by the pottery can be 
explained by assuming that people acquired fine ce- 
ramics during the course of their lifetimes and kept 
them until death, and thus the oldest persons owned 
vessels in styles that preceded the fashions current at 
the time of their death. The sacking of Susa that is 
suggested by the destruction of both the high platform 
on the Acropole and buildings of the Apadana mound 
might have been the occasion for so great a loss of lives, 
after which the survivors may have removed the re- 
mains of their fellow citizens from the ruins and 
buried them in the common grave. A thousand people 
or more might also have died during a raid on the site, 
or as a result of disease, famine, or other natural 
catastrophe. It is unlikely that we will ever know what 
happened with any certainty. 24 

Metal Objects 

In addition to ceramics the cemetery contained some 
fifty-five hammered copper "axes/' They are similar 
in shape to stone examples that have been widely 
found at contemporary sites and were probably used as 
hoes. These objects contain greater quantities of cop- 
per than do finds from any other site of the same 
period. Unquestionably they represent considerable 
wealth. The metal was obtained from a source where 
raw copper occurs in nearly pure form, probably on 
the Iranian plateau near the site of Tepe Sialk. 2 ^ Some 
of the axes contain traces of arsenic, commonly used in 
the making of bronze in fourth- and early-third- 
millennium Iran, and one is said to contain tin. 26 A 
few of the axes carry traces of a woven fabric, pre- 

served through the action of copper oxides in contact 
with cloth. 

There are also eleven copper disks, four of them 
pierced for suspension and perhaps worn hanging 
from a cord around the neck. Such disks, often thought 
to have been mirrors, were probably worn by priests 
during certain ceremonies (see No. 18). It may be that 
the copper disks and axes were used primarily in 
religious ceremonies and then buried with the individ- 
uals who performed them. It is interesting to note that 
they were apparently still in use several hundred years 
later, since they have been found in a burial on the 
Apadana mound dating from the Uruk period. 2 7 

Seals and Sealings 

Two unfired clay sealings and a stamp seal of bitumen 
compound dating from the late fifth or early fourth 
millennium are catalogued below They are part of a 
corpus of over 250 seals and sealings of this period 
found at Susa. Whereas the oldest seals from Susa and 
other Iranian sites have geometric designs, a series of 
motifs on seals and sealings that apparently dates to 
late Susa I times is partly figurative. Particularly note- 
worthy are images of the "master of animals/' an 
anthropomorphic figure with a stylized or animal-like 
head, holding snakes. 28 Sometimes this figure is asso- 
ciated with the same animals that appear on the Susa 

The figural designs on the engraved seals supply, 
more fully than do the designs on the cemetery ves- 
sels, a context that can help us understand the nature of 
the site and perhaps of the cemetery itself. It seems 
clear that religious ceremonies were conducted on the 
temple platform in which ceramic vessels containing 
offerings were used. The priests wore symbols of their 
office such as copper disks; they emulated the forces of 
nature by wearing headdresses representing creatures 
epitomizing those forces, like the mountain goat. A 
number of these priests were buried in the cemetery 
along with the symbols of their office, but the major- 
ity of the deceased were probably ordinary citizens 
whose status was reflected by the lesser quality of their 
ceramic vessels. 2 ? 

frank hole 

The Cemetery of Susa | 31 


1. Those ceramics were found in gallery B, an exploratory tunnel 
dug by Morgan some 65 feet below the surface of the mound. 
Jacques de Morgan, 1900 d, p. 83. 

2. Le Breton, 1957, pp. 81-94. 

3. Morgan, 1907, pp. 397-413; idem, 1908, pp. 373-79. 

4. Mecquenem, 1928b, pp. 100-113; idem, 1943, pp. 3-161. 

5. Canal, 1978a, pp. 169-76; idem, 1978b, pp. 11-55. 

6. Morgan, 1908, p. 375. 

7. Morgan, 1912, pp. 2, 7. 

8. Mecquenem, 1943, p. 5. 

9. Hole, 1990. 

10. Canal, 1978b, pp. 33-34. 

11. Hole, 1990, pp. 10-12. 

12. Frank Hole, 'Archaeology of the Village Period," p. 42, and 
"Settlement and Society in the Village Period," in Hole, ed., 

1987, pp. 85-86. 

13. COHMAP Members, "Climatic Changes of the Last 18,000 
Years: Observations and Model Simulations/' Science 241 (Au- 
gust 1988), pp. 1043-52. This study describes a general in- 
crease in rainfall between 10,000 and 4,000 B.C. across North 
Africa, Arabia, and Mesopotamia, lands that today are largely 

14. Paul Sanlaville, "Considerations sur revolution de la base Me- 
sopotamie au cours des derniers millenaires," Paleorient 15 
(1989), pp. 19-20. 

15. For Eridu see Safar, Mustafa, and Lloyd, 1981, pp. 85-114; for 
Warka see Jurgen Schmidt, "Steingebaude," DAI, 1972, pp. 

16. Kantor, 1976, pp. 27-28. 

17. Morgan, 1912, pp. 2-3; Steve and Gasche, 1990, pp. 24-25. 

18. Dimensions quoted vary. See Canal, 1978b, p. 40, and Steve and 
Gasche, 1971, p. 41." 

19. Steve and Gasche, 1971, p. 188; Canal, 1978b, p. 38. 

20. Ghirshman, 1938-39, vol. 1, p. 58; Langsdorff and McCown, 
1942, p. 15; Steve and Gasche, 1990, p. 26. 

21. Hole, "Settlement and Society in the Village Period," in Hole, 
ed., 1987, pp. 85-86. 

22. Sherds of some of the beaker styles are found on the surface at a 
number of sites, but the shallow bowls and little jars are rarely 
found. At Susa itself, both bowls and beakers have been found 
associated with the settlement. Le Brun, 1971, fig. 36, illus- 
trates bowls; Morgan, 1900a, Appendix No. 1, pis. 17-20, 
illustrates sherds of beakers similar to those of the cemetery. 

23. Canal, 1978b, pp. 38-39. 

24. Hole, 1990, pp. 10-14. Perhaps as many as two thousand people 
lived in Susa. One estimate places the total occupied area of 
Susa (the Apadana and Acropole), including the platform and 
cemetery, at about 32 acres (13 ha). On the basis of the census of 
villages in the region today, archaeologists often assume that 
the residential areas of prehistoric sites held one to two hundred 
people per hectare. See Steve and Gasche, 1990, pp. 25-26. 

25. T. Berthoud, "Etude par Fanalyse de traces et la modelisation 
de la filiation entre minerals de cuivre et objets archeologiques 
du Moyen-Orient (IVe et Hie millenaires avant notre ere)" 
(Ph.D. diss., Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, 1979)/ 
p. 114. 

26. Stech and Piggott, 1986, p. 43; Tallon, 1987, p. 314. 

[The fragmentary "axe" (adze) Sb 11347 (Tallon, 1987, no. 
470) contains 0.82 percent tin. According to the Louvre inven- 
tory, it comes from the Susa I cemetery. However, of the 62 
Susa I copper artifacts that have been analyzed, 61 have no trace 
of tin and one contains 0.01 percent tin. Since some objects 
described in the same inventory as coming from the cemetery 
are obviously later, it is reasonable to question whether 
Sb 11347 really dates from the Susa I period -ft]. 

27. Steve and Gasche, 1990, p. 22 n. 34, pi. 9. 

28. See, for example, Amiet, 1972a, pi. 45, no. 144. 

29. I am grateful to Nicholas Kouchoukos for many discussions 
about Susa's cemetery and ceramics and their relationship to 
those of other sites; for help locating sources; and for compiling 
the necessary information and then drafting figure 23. 

Susa I Pottery 

i Beaker with ibexes 

Baked clay, painted 

H. ii 3 A in. (28.9 cm); DIAM. 6V2 in. (16.4 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3174 

The upper register of this beaker is filled with sche- 
matically drawn long-necked birds. In the next reg- 
ister are reclining dogs, and below that two vertical 

panels, each containing an ibex, or mountain goat, 
whose horns curve back to form a large circle over 
its body. Inside the arc of the horns a design within 
a circle appears, a type of motif that is the dominant 
decoration on many open bowls. 

Relatively few beakers from the Susa cemetery 
match this one in style or quality of draftsmanship. 
Although ninety-one tall beakers have a similarly 
structured design with vertical panels, only ten dis- 
play the round, arching goat horns, generally enclos- 

Susa I Pottery | 33 

ing a circular motif. Both the proportions of the 
vessel and the style of its decoration indicate that it 
was produced late in the sequence. The vessel is very 
large and can hold approximately one gallon of liq- 
uid, weighing about eight pounds. As a drinking 
vessel it would have been unwieldy and perhaps too 
fragile to lift. It is likely that this kind of vessel 
was made more for prestige and display than for 
normal use. 

The goat, Capra hircus, is native to the Zagros 
Mountains a short distance from Susa and is the 
wild ancestor of the domestic goat. Although the 
meanings of the symbols on this beaker are not 
clear, in Sumerian iconography the goat represented 
fresh water as well as vital procreative forces. The 
dogs are of the saluki or greyhound type, a slender- 
bodied hunting dog typical of the hot desert regions. 
The long-necked birds are generally thought to be 
wading water birds of the kind often seen on the 
Susiana plain in winter (fig. 4, p. 3). 


2 Bowl with a human figure 

Baked clay, painted 

H. 4VS in. (10.6 cm); diam. 8V 4 in. (22.} cm) 
Susa 1 period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3157 

This open bowl, which is greatly warped, has an in- 
terior decoration that is basically bilaterally sym- 
metrical. Framed by geometric design elements is 
an anthropomorphic figure standing between two 
pedestals surmounted by pointed staffs. There are 
also two pairs of double-headed creatures ("comb- 
animals"), which may be stylized sheep, and three 
vulturelike birds. Instead of a fourth bird, as sym- 
metry would dictate, a scorpion appears. None of 
these motifs are to be seen on beakers, although 
similar birds commonly occur on little jars like 
Number 10 in this catalogue, and the " sheep" fre- 
quently adorn open bowls. Pierre Amiet calls the 
sheep one of the sacred animals of ancient Iran. 1 

34 I Prehistoric Susa 

Anthropomorphic figures appear on only four 
vessels from the cemetery and in general are rare on 
contemporary pottery from the Near East. The fig- 
ure on this bowl is interesting iconographically be- 
cause it stands with arms outstretched, perhaps 
grasping the two staffs. The stance is familiar from 
contemporary seal engravings of "masters of ani- 
mals" who are usually depicted grappling with 
snakes, lions, or mythical beasts rather than holding 
inanimate objects (see No. 18). The two spadelike 
staffs in this image resemble the identifying sign 
later associated with Marduk, the Mesopotamian 
god who first assumed divine leadership after pop- 
ular election by his peers. The digging spade was the 
principal tool of Marduk, who was known as the god 
of irrigation. The design niche on the opposite side 
of the bowl has no figure but does contain the dou- 
ble staff motif. 2 

By analogy to Mesopotamian examples, then, 
the figure on this bowl may be tentatively identified 
as an early leader, perhaps the personification of an 
agricultural deity. Indeed, the series of lines enclos- 
ing the figure might conceivably represent irriga- 
tion canals. 

Any interpretation of the other figures is even 
less secure. The comblike creatures are double- 
headed. If they are sheep, the multiple vertical lines 
probably represent their wool. They can be thought 
of as exemplifying animal husbandry, the comple- 
ment to agriculture; nevertheless, their meaning is 
obscure. The birds may be vultures, ubiquitous in 
this region, which as consumers of carrion are sug- 
gestive of death. 

Thus the motifs on this bowl suggest elemental 
themes: the life-giving powers of a beneficent god, 
the bounty of agriculture and stock-raising, and the 
inevitability of death. 


1. Amiet, 1966, p. 28. 

2. Ibid., p. 43; Morgan, 1912, p. 6. 

3 Beaker with snakes 

Baked clay, painted 

H. 11V4 in. (30 cm); diam. 8V 4 in. (20.8 cm) 
Susa 1 period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole, Sb 3168 

Although a vessel similar to this one was uncovered 
with an infant burial in the habitation area, at the 
north end of the Acropole mound, and a number of 
beaker sherds with snake motifs have been found at 
the south end of the same mound/ neither in the 
structure of its design nor in its morphology does 
this vessel fit comfortably among the finds from the 
cemetery. Designs on the cemetery vessels are rather 
rigidly structured, having motifs contained within 
lines or broad bands in horizontal or vertical series. 
This beaker, however, instead of framing or organiz- 
ing elements has a solitary motif against a plain 
background: two snakes on opposite sides of the ves- 
sel, with a stepped divider between them. 

The snakes, shown in side-winding locomotion, 
are almost certainly of the type Echis carinatus or 
Echis coloratus, species of saw-scaled vipers which 
are found across North Africa and the Near East. 2 
This type of snake attains a length of up to three 
feet, possesses a highly toxic venom, and has been 
responsible for many deaths among local people. 
Very adept at moving through loose, sandy soil by 
means of its side-winding action, it produces a his- 
sing sound by rubbing its scales against each other. 

The snake occurs as an iconographic element on 
many types of objects. One example is Number 18, 
an impression of a seal from Susa that shows a goat- 
horned "master of animals" grasping a snake in 
either hand. Ceramic snakes are known from two 
'Ubaid sites in southern Mesopotamia: a free- 
standing modeled snake from Temple VII at Eridu, 
and snakes modeled onto the surfaces of ceramic 
vessels from Warka.3 All appear to represent the 
same type of viper as do those from Susa. 

An incision marks off the upper third of this ves- 
sel from the lower body. The incision may have been 
made preparatory to removing the beaker's upper 
section, but neither the cutting of the groove nor the 
"decapitation" was ever completed. 


1. In soundings 1 and 2; Mecquenem, 1934, pp. 183-4. 

2. Parker and Grandison, 1977, p. 15. 

3. On Warka see Boehmer, 1972, pi. 51, nos. 190-91, 212-14; 
on Eridu see Safar, Mustafa, and Lloyd, 1981, p. 230, fig. 110. 

2,6 | Prehistoric Susa 


4 Small bowl with ibexes and dogs 

Baked clay, painted 

H. 2V2 in. (6.2 cm); diam. ^V 4 in (13.2 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3131 


5 Bowl with " comb-animals" 

Baked clay, painted 

H. y/s in. (9.7 cm); DIAM. 8 7 /s in. (22.6 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb }iy8 

The surface of this tiny open bowl is replete with 
goats and dogs, and its spaces are busily filled with 
small vertical zigzags or "bird" marks. The dense 
design and repetitive use of motifs are uncharac- 
teristic for an open bowl from this cemetery al- 
though Number 9 is similar. 

The wild mountain goats (Capra hircus) are ren- 
dered less fluidly here than on Number 1 and other 
beakers, perhaps because of the difficulty of painting 
on a small concave surface. Beneath the goats' bodies 
are pyramidal designs which may represent moun- 
tains. The salukis, or greyhounds, are shown reclin- 
ing, not running as is sometimes said. These dogs 
are known from the lowlands, where in historical 
times they were widely used for hunting, while the 
goats are denizens of the mountains. As with the 
ibex beaker (No. 1), this vessel's decoration alludes 
to the two major geographic domains of the Susa 
environment, the steppe-desert and the mountains, 
and depicts both the hunter and the hunted. It is 
possible that the wild goat refers not to the hunt but 
rather to powers of procreation and life-giving fresh 
water; in that context, however, the reason for the 
dogs' presence is obscure. 

A large number of the cemetery vessels, about 360, 
are open bowls. Some fifteen percent of them have a 
tripartite design on the interior. On this typical ex- 
ample the comb or sheep motif appears three times, 
along with filler designs that are probably purely 
geometric. As Georges Contenau notes, the comb 
motif has also been variously interpreted as a 
double-headed eagle with outstretched wings, a 
cloud with falling rain, and an ibex with multiple 
legs. 1 


1. Contenau, 1938-39, p. 176 n. 1. 


Susa I Pottery | 37 


6 Bowl with salukis 

Baked clay, painted 

H. jVs in. (8.6 cm); diam. 4 5 /s in. (11.9 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3208 


7 Bowl with turtle and comb-animals 

Baked clay, painted 

H. y/s in. (8.1 cm); diam. 6 7 A in. (174 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4.000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3134 

The upper and lower registers on this bowl's exterior 
consist of nearly vertical parallel lines, perhaps a 
counterpart to the stylized stick-birds seen on some 
of the beakers. In the central register a row of saluki 
dogs lie in repose. 

The bowl is one of only thirteen vessels of hemi- 
spherical shape found in the cemetery. Similarly 
shaped bowls are common finds in habitation areas, 
both at Susa and at other sites. They probably con- 
tained beverages for drinking. In decoration as well 
as form, the few hemispherical bowls from the cem- 
etery differ markedly from most of the grave offer- 
ings found there. 


This is a rare example of an open bowl with a natu- 
ralistic motif in the central area of the base. In other 
respects the vessel is of a standard type commonly 
found in the cemetery; its border bands are deeply 
indented, dividing the design space into symmetrical 
halves and creating four enclosed spaces that hold 
subsidiary motifs. Two "comb creatures" oppose one 
another in each half of the vessel, while the indented 
niches hold "quiver" motifs, design elements seen 
on some tall beakers (e.g., No. 12). The animal 
represented in the center of the bowl is thought to 
be a turtle. 1 


1. See Roland de Mecquenem, "Catalogue de la ceramique peinte 
Susienne," MDP 13 (1912), p. 121, pi. 17:2; Edmond Pottier, 
Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, France, part 4, Musee du 
Louvre, I (Paris, 1925), pis. 5:11, 9:17. 

38 | Prehistoric Susa 


8 Beaker with salukis and birds 

Baked clay, painted 

H. yVz in. (ig.2 cm); diam. 4 } A in. (11.2 cm) 
Susa I period, ca, 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3165 

A small beaker, this vessel seems suitable for indi- 
vidual use as a drinking cup, unlike Number 1, 
which probably was not meant to be raised to the 
lips. The beaker's design is dominated by the typical 
rigid framework of horizontal registers and vertical 
panels. The upper register contains a row of long- 
necked birds, perhaps herons, separated in charac- 
teristic fashion from the panels below by three nar- 
row horizontal lines and a broader band. In each of 
the vessel's three large vertical panels, salukis repose 
above and below a rectangle filled with parallel wavy 
lines. One might interpret this as a scene of dogs 
lying at the edge of a pool. The panels are separated 
by geometric motifs in traditional Susiana style, and 
the base of the vessel is marked by another series of 
horizontal lines with a band. 

A design of equally rigid formality appears 
on beaker Number 1. Both stylistically and morpho- 
logically, this beaker appears to be a late example. 


9 Bowl with ibexes and checkerboard 

Baked clay, painted 

H. 3 J /s in. (8.7 cm); diam. 8V 4 in, (22.2 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb }iyg 

This open bowl shares with Number 4 both its deco- 
rative theme — a series of goats surrounding the 
base — and the absence of bands or other spatial di- 
viders of the sort generally found on Susa bowls. 
The goats on the two vessels might well have been 
executed by the same hand, even though the arch of 
the goats' horns is much more fully rounded on this 
bowl, perhaps a possibility offered the artist by its 
shallower surface. Beneath each goat are two wavy 
lines suggesting water, which is often associated with 
the wild goat, Capra hircus. The remaining motifs 
are common Susian geometric design elements such 
as checkerboard lozenges, stacked series of inverted 
Ws, and multiple pendant lines, all of which serve as 

Susa I Pottery \ 39 

space fillers. The repetition of many elements cre- 
ates an extraordinarily busy composition. This 
bowl's quadrilateral layout is a rare departure from 
the bilateral symmetry usually seen on Susa vessels. 


10 Carinated jar with birds in flight 

Baked clay, painted 

H. y/s in. (8.5 cm); diam. 5 in. (12.8 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. q.000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 316 j 

This small, carinated, short-necked jar is of a style 
commonly found in the Susa cemetery and other 
nearby deposits but rarely uncovered at other sites. 
These vessels characteristically have small lugs for 
suspension located in the vertical areas separating 
the design panels. The jars probably held liquids 
that were too valuable to be entrusted to a place 
on the floor, like honey or oil, although they also 
seem to have been of particular importance for 
burial rites. 

The decoration of the jars often features birds 
flying in tight formation. The birds might be any of 
several that occur in the region, perhaps eagles, vul- 
tures, storks, or herons. 


11 Beaker with wavy lines 

Baked clay, painted 

H. 4 in. {10.} cm); diam. y/z in. (9 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3189 

The decoration of this beaker is steeped in Susiana 
tradition. It consists of a series of rigidly defined 
horizontal registers, each containing a variant on a 
wavy line or a group of such lines. The vessel can be 
interpreted as one of the oldest in the cemetery 
group because of its proportions and its purely hori- 
zontal composition. 


40 I Prehistoric Susa 

12 Beaker with zigzag decoration 

Baked clay, painted 

H. ioV 4 in. (26 cm); diam. f/s in. (14.8 cm) 
Susa 1 period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 142 71 

This tall beaker is of a particularly common type. It 
is encircled by a band of parallel lines making a zig- 
zag pattern that is almost the full height of the ves- 
sel. Horizontal lines appear here only at top and 
bottom and do not break the vertical space as they do 
on all other beakers. Horizontality is introduced, 
however, by the motifs tucked into the angles of 
the zigzag. 

These vessels are in general standardized, dis- 
playing less variation than do any other class of ce- 
ramics found in the cemetery. Differences appear 
principally in the handling of motifs in the zigzags. 
These are of two types, either checkerboard lozenges 
or a design that has been interpreted in various 
ways : as arrows in a quiver, as baby storks in their 
nest, and as reeds in a marsh. 1 

Vessels of this class are the tallest and largest 
of all beakers, although this example is of only 
average size. 


1. Contenau, 1927-31, vol. i, p. 400 and 400 n. 2, 

Susa I Pottery | 41 

13 Bowl with geometric decoration 

Baked clay, painted 

H. yA in. (9 cm); diam. 8 in. (20.3 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Cemetery, Acropole; Sb 3182 

Bilateral symmetry governs the organization of mo- 
tifs, which are chiefly geometric, on this open bowl. 
The concentric bands ringing the perimeter are 
marked by two deep indentations that divide the 
round field and flank a square central motif. One in- 
dentation contains small vertical zigzags; the other, 
pairs of short vertical marks. Each of the two semi- 
circular spaces created by the division is dominated 
by a circular motif enclosing a rectangular panel of 
parallel wavy lines (symbols of water). Curved tri- 
angles made up of smaller triangles fill the remain- 
ing spaces. 

Although among the cemetery group there are 
nearly two hundred vessels with a bilateral decora- 
tive scheme in which sets of lines create deep niches, 
only fifteen of them have the circle motif. Most, like 
Number 2, have comb-animals or checkerboard 


lozenges as the dominant motif. The circle motif is 
commonly found, however, on open bowls with a 
three-sided layout. 


Objects of Bitumen Compound and Terracotta 

14 Small vase 

Bitumen compound 

H. 4 2 /s in. (10.4 cm); diam. 2 in. (5.1 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 



This elongated conical vase with a button base is 
made of bitumen compound, a material that was of- 
ten used at Susa — perhaps as a substitute for dark 
stone. 1 Stone and terracotta vessels of the same 
shape were recovered from the cemetery at Susa. 
They were often found in association with mirrors in 
the graves identified by the excavators as female 
burials. 2 


1. For a discussion of bitumen compound see pp. 99-101. 

2. Morgan, 1912, pp. 8-9, figs. 15-19, pi. 23. 


42 I Prehistoric Susa 

15 Mouflon 

Buff terracotta; painted brown spots 
H. 2V4 in. (5.5 cm); L. 3 3 A in. (8.6 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4.000 B.C. 
Sb 5883 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The animal and human figurines modeled of terra- 
cotta in the earliest days of Susa are schematic repre- 
sentations reduced to the bare essentials. Typically, 
quadrupeds have compact, stocky bodies and legs 
that are modeled two by two, with a characteristic 
rounded space separating the fore and hind legs. 
This animal is identifiable as a mouflon, or wild 
sheep, by its large stylized horns and its snout. The 
eyes and mouth are not depicted. 1 


1. Mecquenem/ 1934, p. 186, fig. 15, 1; Rutten, 1935-36, vol. \, 
p. 172, B; Parrot, 1960, fig. 102; Amiet/ 1966, fig. 5; Amiet/ 
x 977' % s - *9°/ 1 9 1 - 

16 Bird 

Buff terracotta, hand modeled; painted brown spots 
H. i 5 /s in. (4 cm); L. i 7 /$ in. (4.9 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
Sb 19325 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Bird figures from the period of the first settlement 
at Susa, like the quadrupeds, had brown spots on 
their bodies. Perched high on its long legs, this is 
probably a wading bird like the stylized creatures 
that appear on Susa I painted vessels (No. 1). The 
eyes and beak are painted in the same way as the 
neck and back. 


Late Susa I Glyptic | 43 

Late Susa I Glyptic: 

Ritual Imagery, Practical Use 

Surviving seals and sealings displaying elaborate im- 
agery are valuable for interpreting the character of the 
society of the first inhabitants at Susa. The use of seal 
impressions on clay objects is first known to have 
occurred in the fifth millennium B.C. in northern 
Mesopotamia, and became the means, throughout the 
ancient Near East, of ensuring that the contents of 
containers had not been tampered with and of control- 
ling access to storerooms — important functions in a 
society with many stored resources. At the site of Tal-i 
Bakun, near Persepolis, both container sealings and 
door sealings of the Susa I period were recovered in 
buildings that were probably warehouses. 1 At Susa 
itself, the actual contexts for the surviving sealings are 
lost. We know that there were domestic structures on 
both the Acropole and Apadana mounds. 2 Some seal- 
ings were found in upper Susa I deposits over a four- 
meter-square area at the southern part of the Acropole 
mound, but none in the cemetery 3 

The two Susa I sealings in this catalogue (Nos. 17, 
18) were pressed against the cloth that covered jars, and 
the impression of the cloth's weave is still visible on 
their backs. 4 The clay was stamped with circular seals 
carrying scenes that belong to a series of representa- 
tions of supernatural or priestly figures engaged in 

17 Jar sealing showing three figures in a 
ritual scene 


H. 2V2 in. (6.4 cm); w. iVs in. (4.1 cm) 
Impressed by a seal of diam. iVs in. (3.6 cm) 
Susa 1 period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
South Acropole; Sb 210J 

This is one of six container sealings bearing multiple 
impressions of the same convex circular seal. 1 The 
depiction is of a dominant central figure with a beak 
projecting from a birdlike head, a distinctive bulbous 
headdress with a vertical extension at the top, 2 and a 
long garment patterned with horizontal zigzags. The 
figure seems to be in motion, with arms extended in 
different directions. Behind the figure stands a sec- 
ond figure whose head, posture, and dress are simi- 
lar. Another, smaller figure at the left, clad in a short 
garment — possibly a skin with a tail — stands or 
kneels with arm raised, holding a cup. This cup, with 

ritual activity The seal (No. 19) belongs to a different 
thematic group of seals and sealings with elaborate 
cruciform motifs. 

Differing iconographic groups among the sealings 
may reflect distinctions in the society and in the ways 
stored goods were administered at Susa. Frank Hole 
has described Susa in this first phase as a ceremonial 
center, governed by a number of responsible individ- 
uals ;5 the use of distinct groups of iconographically 
related seals to provide secure storage may support 
this concept. It also seems likely that a number of 
individuals had access to storeroom doors, since four 
different seals occur on door sealings that have central 
impressions of wooden pegs or knobs. 6 


1. Alizadeh, 1988, pp. 20 ff. 

2. Dyson, 1966, p. 370, as cited by Hole, 1983, p. 317; Amiet, 
1986a, pp. 32ft 

3. Mecquenem, 1938c, pp. 65-66, fig. 1:1; idem, 1943, pp. 9-11, 
fig. 6.11. I thank Frank Hole for a communication on this 

4. Amiet, i986d, p. 20, figs. 4-6; Le Brun (1971, p. 174 n. 10) 
notes that the imprint of cloth is visible on the interiors of 
certain jars. 

5. Hole, 1983, pp. 32iff. 

6. Amiet, i986d, pp. 2iff ; one door sealing, the only Susa I ex- 
ample stamped with two seals (unrelated in motif), may have 
been stamped by two different users. Amiet, 1972a, nos. 161, 


44 I Prehistoric Susa 

its conical form and banded decoration, is compared 
by Frank Hole to Susa I painted beakers. 3 In the up- 
per field are a rayed sun and a fish(?); other ele- 
ments are unclear. 

This depiction is one of a number of elaborate 
scenes that occur on Susa I sealings and seals. Dom- 

inant motifs are animal-headed figures with bare 
chests and pronounced pectorals, wearing long skirts 
with a variety of patterns. On some seals the figures 
are further distinguished by circular pendants worn 
around the neck — possibly copper disks or even 
seals. 4 Those with birdlike heads seem to be en- 
gaged in a ritual activity with a number of attendant 
figures wearing short garments. In other scenes 
ibex-headed (or masked) figures, such as the "master 
of animals/' stand with arms extended, grasping 

either two quadrupeds or two snakes. A rare extant 
seal with this imagery is engraved on two faces, 
with a "master of animals'' on one and an attendant 
figure kneeling before a number of quadrupeds on 
the other. 5 

The date of this glyptic, part of a Mesopotamian 
late ' Ubaid stylistic phenomenon that spread toward 
both Iran and Anatolia, 6 has been established as a 
result of the excavations of Le Brun on the Acropole 
mound, where two sealings were discovered in level 
25 in an area with habitation walls, ovens, and 
painted pottery. 7 One of the sealings bears the im- 
age of a nude figure with a human body and the 
head of an ibex, standing with arms raised to hold 
two large snakes (fig. 25, opposite). He can be re- 
lated to the series just described and also, partic- 
ularly, to images of ibex-headed figures from sites in 
both Iran and northern Mesopotamia. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, p. 43, no. 231, pis. 2, 50; Charvat, 1988, p. 59. 

2. Hole, 1983, p. 320, fig. i:f, g, recognizes the superposed rings 
worn by figures in short kilts on Susa I pottery as a rendering 
of this headdress. It is described as "bulbous" by Amiet, prob- 
ably correctly and is depicted abstractly on pottery 

3. Hole, 1983, p. 321. 

4. Hole, 1983, p. 320, who informs me that some disks were 
pierced. Francpise Tallon believes that the disks, which were 
mostly unpierced, served a different function. 

5. Le Breton, 1956, p. 135:12, where the drawing shows a figure 
with a beaky nose and ibex horns. 

6. Von Wickede, 1990, pp. 152ft. 

7. Le Brun, 1971, pp. 1691".; idem, 1978, pp. i8off. 

Late Susa I Glyptic 

18 Jar sealing showing ibex-headed figure 
holding snakes 


H. 2V4 in. (5.7 cm); w. 2V2 in. (6.4 cm) 
Impressed by a seal of diam. i 5 /s (4.2 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
South Acropole; Sb 2050 

This sealing was stamped three times with a circular 
convex seal carrying the image of a standing ibex- 
headed figure with a bare chest and a large circular 
pendant hanging on a thick cord around his neck. 
Serpents composed of triple undulating lines are 
held in his raised hands, while snaky forms and 
spadelike elements appear under his arms. The fig- 
ure wears a belt and probably originally had a long 
skirt, although the skirt is not preserved in any of 
the three impressions stamped on this jar sealing. 1 

In general, interpretations of the imagery on 
Susa I seals and sealings center on the identity of 
the main figure, who is either a supernatural being 
with human and animal attributes or a masked hu- 
man priest or shaman wearing a long garment. 2 
This long garment and the animal-skin (?) kilt worn 
by figures with their legs exposed indicate that their 
wearers are humans. However, the distinction be- 
tween human and animal is not so clear with the 
"master of animals" on the Susa I sealing illustrated 
in figure 25 nor with the figures on stamp seals 
from northern Mesopotamia and other sites in Iran; 
some of these have caprid or mouflon horns and 
stippled or hatched bodies. 3 

Figure 25. Drawing of a jar sealing. Sealing: Acropole, level 25 
Susa, late 5th millennium B.C. Clay. Susa, Shush Museum 

46 | Prehistoric Susa 

Ibex, ram, and bovine horns distinguish divin- 
ities in many early and modern traditional societies, 
and shamans wear animal masks and skins to ascend 
to the supernatural realm and to enhance their 
power over the demonic forces of nature. 4 At Susa 
this role may have been shared by a number of men 
who were buried with copper disks but not (accord- 
ing to present evidence) with seals bearing ritual 
imagery. Few such seals were recovered in the early 
excavations, and the corpus is known mainly from 
their impressions — stamped from one to six times 
on jar and door sealings. 5 These seal impressions 
form a thematic group, distinguishable from other 
series of sealings with geometric designs. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, no. 220; idem, 1988a, p. 10, where it is identi- 
fied as a jar stopper. 

2. Amiet (i986d, p. 21), notes that this garment prefigures the 
robe of the Sumerian priest-king; Barnett, 1966, pp. 259ft. 

3. Barnett, 1966, pi. 22; Porada (1962, pp. 31-33)/ notes that one 
example with a stippled body exhibits the gait of a human and 
is probably a priest in animal skins rather than a demon. 

4. For references to figures with horns outside ancient Egypt and 
the Near East, see Jeffreys, 1954, pp. 25ff.; Eliade, 1972, 

pp. 459ff.; Elwin, 1951, figs. 58, 59. 

5. For a seal with this imagery, see Amiet, 1972a, pi. 49:222. 

19 Stamp seal with cruciform motif 

Bitumen compound 

diam. 1V4 in. (3.1 cm); H. Vs in. (.8 cm) 
Susa I period, ca. 4000 B.C. 
South Acropole; Sb 1523 

One group of Susa I seals and sealings bears an 
elaborate cruciform design. An example is this 
circular seal made of bitumen compound, which 
has a slightly raised knob at the back, now broken. 
The convex seal face is carved with a cross-based de- 
sign that can possibly be interpreted as four horned 
animal heads joined by extensions to a central 
lozenge form. There is patterning on all the ele- 
ments. This motif was engraved on a number of 
seals of different sizes at Susa, some of them used to 
stamp more than one container sealing. 1 A notable 
example appears as a partial impression on a jar 
sealing found in level 25 of Le Brun's Acropole 
excavation. 2 


1. According to Charvat (1988, p. 59), Sb 2061 and 2229 are jar 
rim and sack(?) sealings using the same impression (see 
Amiet, 1972a, no. 212); Sb 2012 and 6936 are sack and pot 
sealings using the same impression (ibid., no. 214); Sb 2010 
and 5310 have the same impression (ibid., no. 215) and wick- 
erwork traces on the reverse. 

2. Le Brun, 1971, fig. 35, no. 3. 


Modern impression 

V Vriting, cylinder seals, mass-produced plain ce- 
ramics, and a variety of new items crafted of stone and metal appeared in Susa around 3500 B.C. Susa 
II is the name given to the period extending from 3500 to about 3100 B.C. The objects from that time 
are so close in style to objects found in the first Mesopotamian cities, however, that the term Uruk 
period, used to designate Mesopotamian developments during the same era, is often applied to Susa. 
Uruk was the major Mesopotamian city of the time. 

What kind of change took place between Susa periods I and II is a matter of dispute. In one view, 
Mesopotamian cultural styles and social forms were gradually absorbed and adopted in Susiana after 
the collapse of the Susa I polity or polities. 1 Another view posits a more abrupt transformation, 
resulting directly from Uruk's cultural or military imperialism. 2 At that time Susa also ceased being 
the only major town in its region. Chogha Mish, seventeen miles to the east, and perhaps also Abu 
Fanduwah, seven miles to the south, became local centers of administration and exchange, with 
populations of 1,000 to 3,000. Susa, Chogha Mish, and Abu Fanduwah were far smaller than the 
cities of Mesopotamia to the west such as Uruk and Nippur, whose populations were probably three 
to four times those of the towns of Susiana. 3 

New developments took place during the Susa III period, which extended from about 3100 to 2700 
B.C. Sometime just before 3000 B.C., Susiana slipped out of the Mesopotamian cultural sphere. Susa 
became once again the only major settlement in the region, and the surrounding Susiana plain lost 
much of its population. The ceramics and writing system employed in Susa at that time resembled 
those in use at Anshan (modern Tal-i Malyan) in Fars province, 320 miles southeast of Susa and the 
site of the later Elamite capital. Susa became a kind of gateway city on the western edge of the Iranian 
world; products of the highlands passed through it on their way to the rapidly growing Mesopota- 
mian cities of the lowlands to the west. The distribution of contemporary sites on the plateau 
suggests that the foundations of the highland-lowland union that characterized the historical 
Elamite period were first laid in the early third millennium B.C. Thus the writing system of that 
time and the culture with which it was associated are called "Proto-Elamite." 



48 I Protoliterate Susa 

1. E.g., Wright and Johnson, 1975. 

2. E.g., Algaze, 1989, pp. 571-608, especially pp. 574-77. 

3. Gregory Johnson has suggested that competition in the late Susa II period between eastern Susiana with its center at Chogha Mish, and 
western Susiana with its centers at Susa and Abu Fanduwah, led to the decline in regional complexity seen in the subsequent Susa III period. 
Johnson, "The Changing Organization of Uruk Administration on the Susiana Plain," in Hole, 1987, pp. 107-39. 

The Late Uruk Period 

By the early part of the fourth millennium B.C., 
profound changes occurring in the social organization 
of communities in the Near East set the stage for what 
is sometimes called the urban revolution. The clearest 
evidence for such changes, identified through archae- 
ological survey, suggests that there was a considerable 
shift in the patterns of settlement in the great Meso- 
potamian alluvial plain, which includes Khuzistan, 
and consequently Susa, in its eastern part (see figs. 1, 
2, pp. xiv-xvi). From the distribution and size of the 
mounded remains of the ancient centers, we under- 
stand that during the fifth and early fourth millennia 
B.C. people dwelling in the alluvium moved from more 
or less equally spaced and sized villages into larger 
communities. As a result, by 3500 B.C. a small num- 
ber of centers had grown to a size that is considered 
urban. That shift in the way people organized them- 
selves was certainly a response to a number of differ- 
ent factors, including increased pressure on resources 
through both a growing population and what seems to 
have been a shift toward a drier climate. 

One of the first " cities" in the alluvium was appar- 
ently Nippur, later the religious center of Sumer, 
whose size in the early fourth millennium B.C. is 
estimated at about one hundred acres. 1 Somewhat later 
there was an even greater agglomeration of people to 
the south at the site of ancient Uruk, referred to in the 
Bible as Erech and now called Warka. Because the 
period was systematically investigated first at Uruk 
and because that center was so important at that time, 
the phase of first cities is designated the Uruk period. 

The early part of the period is poorly known, but there 
is enough evidence from its end — that is, the Late 
Uruk period (ca. 3500-3100 B.C.) — to provide some 
idea of the culture that had emerged together with the 
new social organization. 

In social evolutionary terms, the Uruk phase has 
been described as the period of the formation of the 
state or of the rise of civilization. Books have been and 
will continue to be written on exactly what these terms 
mean, but however the debate proceeds, it is generally 
agreed that in the Near East those early states were 
composed of large population centers, some of whose 
inhabitants had specialized skills and responsibilities. 
It is believed that such increased specialization made it 
possible, at least in part, for a greater variety of activ- 
ities to be undertaken in the large centers than in 
smaller communities, where most people were occu- 
pied primarily with meeting the basic needs of their 
existence. One result of the increased capability that 
specialization allowed was a far more complex coor- 
dination of the production of goods and of human 
relations. To sustain the specialization and to manage, 
mediate, and achieve the goals of this new organiza- 
tion, new ways of solving problems had to be found. 
These, in turn, effected major changes in the way 
people thought and behaved. 

The British anthropologist V Gordon Childe enu- 
merated what he understood to be some of the most 
important traits of those early civilizations. His list, 
which has provoked much discussion, includes such 
things as the invention of the wheel, the development 

The Late Uruk Period \ 49 

of a complex irrigation technology, an increase in craft 
specialization and the presence of full-time specialists, 
and monumental architecture, as well as the invention 
of writing and the appearance of representational art. 2 
Those elements are fundamental to all but an ever- 
diminishing few of today's cultures. Of the two spheres 
that were affected by those innovations, the first is the 
physical environment, altered by such tools and tech- 
nologies as the wheel, the composite bow, complex 
irrigation, and metallurgy. The second is human rela- 
tions, which were altered by the invention and devel- 
opment of symbolic technologies. The most obvious of 
these was the invention of writing and other systems of 
notation, although other modes of symbolic communi- 
cation also fit into this category Monumental architec- 
ture was constructed, not to increase crop yield, but to 
house social agencies and to provide public gathering 
places. Programs of figufal art were developed, not to 
facilitate the movement of goods, but to express 
thoughts, to teach values, to communicate informa- 
tion, and to control. Obviously, tools and technologies 
that modified both physical and social conditions had 
existed from the beginning of human time, but both 
underwent a fundamental change during the urban 

In the realm of art, it is actually possible to see the 
profound change that took place between the time of 
the earlier villages and that of these urban societies. 
Although the evidence is scanty, what survives of the 
pre-Uruk periods can be understood as essentially the 
residue or the focus of activity, rather than representa- 
tions meant to be looked at. The artistic expression 
that has been preserved is mostly in the form of geo- 
metric and emblematic designs painted on vessels used 
for rituals and in daily life. One important category of 
evidence now missing is wall paintings — either ab- 
stract patterns or figural representations — which may 
have been discarded or eradicated after the creative/ 
ritual event. Life-size sculptures are rare; three- 
dimensional representations are usually small works 
that may have served as fetishes more than as objects 
for contemplation or instruction. 

With the appearance of larger, more complex social 
groups, such as those that appeared in the Uruk period, 
there is a quantum leap in the amount and complexity 
of symbolic elaboration of objects, accomplished in 
particular through figural representations. That phe- 
nomenon has been noted frequently but the reasons for 
it are rarely considered in any depth. Although this 
change certainly arose from a complex of factors, it 
seems clear that in the Near East at that time, one 

primary purpose of the increased invention and pro- 
duction of visual symbols was managing social inter- 
action, for through them it was possible to replace 
actual human action with its representation. Actual 
and ritual action, used in the past for social manage- 
ment, it may hypothetically but consistently be sug- 
gested, was replaced or augmented to some degree by 
depictions of ritual actions and of relationships. 

That new function of social communication re- 
quired both the elaboration of existing images and the 
creation of a substantial number of new ones, which 
acquired meaning through convention and homology 
that encompassed both human relationships and 
mythological and cosmological precepts. A good ex- 
ample of this is the group of scenes on the Uruk vase 
(fig. 26), which shows what must be a ritual encounter 
of major importance to the Uruk community. 

Figure 26. Vase depicting the ritual marriage of the goddess Inanna. 
Eanna precinct, Uruk, Iraq. Late Uruk period, ca. 3100 B.C. Alabas- 
ter, H. 36/4 in. (92 cm). Baghdad, Iraq Museum, 19606 

50 I Protoliterate Susa 

Susa During the Late Uruk Period 

Our understanding of this period at Susa depends on 
interpreting the finds from the early excavations in 
light of those from the well- controlled soundings on 
the Acropole. In the periodization developed from the 
soundings, levels 20 through 17 have been designated 
Susa II — the ceramic and thus chronological equiva- 
lent of the Middle and Late Uruk periods at Uruk. We 
know little of the transition to this phase from the Susa 
I period, when the erection of the high platform and 
the presence of distinctive pottery and seal impressions 
suggest that Susa was an important ritual center. 
There is no evidence of abandonment of the site or of a 
disruption in occupation, and it seems that the high 
platform was rebuilt several times before it was finally 
abandoned in the Susa II period. A most serious draw- 
back of the early excavations is the fact that the 
methods used destroyed the evidence of monumental 
public architecture that must have stood during the 
Susa II period. We do know, however, that Susa was not 
the only important center on the plain of Khuzistan at 
that time. Until the end of the period, a substantial 
center stood in the middle of the plain at the site of 
Chogha Mish. 

Ceramics from the Middle and Late Uruk periods 
at both Chogha Mish and Susa are virtually identical 

to those from southern Mesopotamia. That tells us 
that there were close relations between Susiana and the 
Mesopotamian alluvial plain, but it does not help us to 
understand the mechanisms of the relations. Al- 
though cryptic, perhaps the most articulate evidence 
from the period is the visual arts — that is, the frag- 
ments of three-dimensional sculpture and the many 
seal images that are preserved through their impres- 
sions on administrative documents of clay. There are 
also tantalizing fragments of monumental-scale sculp- 
ture from the period, which, in combination with wall 
paintings, must have decorated the facades of major 
public structures (fig. 27). Smaller works of three- 
dimensional sculpture were found in hoards; objects 
from two such hoards, called the "archaic deposits/' 
are included in this catalogue (pp. 58-67). A number 
of hoards of small-scale sculpture from the period of 
state formation have been found in the Near East and 
in Egypt, usually in temples or other special locations. 
Sculptures rendered in two different styles were found 
in one of the Susa hoards. One possible interpretation 
of the difference in style is that the sculptures were 
made in two succeeding periods, with the deposit laid 
down during the later period. The variant styles can 
also be understood as contemporaneous, with no nec- 
essary chronological priority Thus, the distinctive 
three-dimensional mode of rendering animal mus- 

Figure 27. Head of a male from a statue; side and front views. Susa, ca. 3300 B.C. Stone, h. 7 in. (18 cm). Susa, Shush Museum 

The Late Uritk Period \ 51 

culature evident in the seals of the later, Proto-Elamite 
period (e.g., No. 47) might first have been defined in 
sculpture at the end of the Late Uruk phase (e.g., No. 
27). Precursors of other Proto-Elamite stylistic fea- 
tures are discernible in other Late Uruk media as well.- - * 

Virtually all the subjects known in three- 
dimensional sculpture are also found at Susa in the art 
of glyptic. From impressions on unbaked clay sealings, 
now mostly broken and worn bits, scholars have been 
able to discern the outlines of a stylistic and icono- 
graphic development in seal imagery. 4 The earliest of 
those images from Susa (see Nos. 17-19) were en- 
graved on the convex surfaces of stamp seals. By the 
Uruk period the stamp seal had for the most part been 
replaced by the cylinder seal, whose curved surface 
was carved with figural and abstract compositions. 
This new format allowed the seal to be rolled easily 
across clay sealings and documents to produce a single 
continuous impressed band of the engraved design 
(No. 47)- 

There are impressions from Susa belonging to this 
earliest phase of cylinder seal use, the dates confirmed 
through well-stratified evidence from the nearby site 
of Sharafabad. ^ The imagery and style of the cylinders 
differ radically from those of the Susa I stamp seals. 
The cylinders were engraved by means of a drill with 
images of animals and humans in high relief, appear- 
ing as "baggy" masses. Unlike those of the Susa I 
period, these figures are not differentiated by gar- 
ments and masks, but are distinguished by their pos- 
ture and by such attributes as a distinctive hair style or 
a headband. One of the earliest identifiable figures on a 
Susa cylinder is a male wearing a broad fillet around 
his thick hair; he is not clothed and carries a long staff. 
The figure compares closely with an important per- 
sonage in the Uruk visual repertory, but in these early 
seals he is never shown wearing the "net" skirt that is 
his hallmark in the Late Uruk phase. Other human 
figures, also not clothed, are shown squatting among 
wild animals, usually caprids, on the early seals. 

Because of the immense scale of the early excava- 
tions, more glyptic images of the Late Uruk period are 
known from Susa than from any other site with the 
possible exception of Uruk itself. The compositional 
formulas and style of rendering on seals from the two 
sites are strikingly similar. Nevertheless, distinctly 
different themes occur at each site. Among the pub- 
lished glyptic from Uruk there is particular emphasis 
on the representation of rituals involving the bringing 
of goods to the temple. (The rituals relate to those 
shown on the Uruk vase, fig. 26.) Another important 

theme is the domination of human beings by the 
figure with the rolled headband and net skirt. At Susa, 
however, the great majority of images are scenes of 
manufacturing. At both sites, heraldic compositions of 
wild animals or supernatural creatures alternating 
with vessels or rosettes or birds are found. 

Susa's Relationship to the West 

Evaluating the relationship between Susa and lowland 
Mesopotamia during this formative period is a classic 
problem in the interpretation of archaeological evi- 
dence. The problem can be productively approached in 
two ways. The first begins with the hypothesis that 
Susa and Uruk had a particular type of relationship 
and then uses the evidence to illustrate that relation- 
ship; the second looks first at the evidence and through 
various types of analyses tries to piece together what 
the relationship might have been. 

Scholars agree that the material cultures of Susa 
and Uruk were very similar during the Late Uruk 
period. What is a matter of interpretation is the degree 
to which Susa, despite those similarities, was a politi- 
cal and economic entity independent from Uruk — as 
one theory holds. 6 Others believe that Susa had a 
dependent relationship with Uruk, either as a separate 
but subservient polity or as an actual colony. 7 Though 
seemingly a fine point of pedantry, the question has 
ramifications for our understanding of how the first 
states evolved in the ancient world. 

We know that the Late Uruk period is one during 
which there were close relations between distant com- 
munities in the Near East. Many scholars believe that 
at least some of these contacts had to do with the 
establishment of commercial colonies, probably with 
Uruk as the mother city. For example, most accept that 
the sites of Habuba Kabira and Jebel Aruda on the 
upper Euphrates and Nineveh on the Tigris were in 
some sort of colonial relationship to Uruk. A question 
still debated is whether Susa too was "colonized" by 
Uruk, perhaps during the early part of the Uruk pe- 
riod; or whether it was an independent, competing 
polity — that is, a smaller copy of the larger center. 
One of the most important images that comes from 
Susa can be used to support either interpretation. It is a 
glyptic image, impressed on a jar sealing, showing the 
man with the headband and long net skirt threatening, 
with a bow and arrow, long-haired enemies he has 
vanquished (fig. 28). This scene of imminent slaugh- 

52 I Protoliterate Susa 

D □ O O Q O ] 

Figure 28. Drawing of a seal impression depicting a priest-king 
fighting enemies before a horned building. Seal: Susa, late Uruk 
period, ca. 3300 B.C. Clay, H. 1 in. (2.5 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, 
Sb 2125 

ter, which takes place in front of a raised structure 
from whose sides animal horns emerge, has been in- 
terpreted as a representation of the ruler of Susa in 
front of a local temple. 8 This figure, sometimes re- 
ferred to as the priest-king, is known in its greatest 
variety at Uruk, where it is seen on seals, in three- 
dimensional sculpture, and on depictions in low relief 
on votive objects such as the vase from Uruk in figure 
26. The image is also known on seals from Habuba 
Kabira. Our interpretation of this figure depends on 
our understanding of the relationship between centers. 
Is he the paramount ruler of Uruk, who controls Susa 
by asserting power over local adversaries, or a local 
surrogate of the paramount at Uruk? Or, is this the 
image of an independent ruler at Susa who is repre- 
sented as identical to the ruler of a competing polity? 
The last hypothesis is the one offered by those who 
believe that Susa was an independent polity in the Late 
Uruk period. But it is just as likely that the same 
person or, more probably, the same office that we see in 
Mesopotamia — at Uruk in particular — controlled the 
whole alluvium. Susa holds important clues to the 
dynamic of an enormously vital first civilization. 

holly pittman 


1. R. M. Adams, Heartland of Cities (Chicago, 1981), p. 116. 

2. Childe, 1969, pp. 123-47. 

3. [For a different view on the date of objects in the "archaic 
deposits," see p. 58. — Ed.] 

4. Amiet, 1972a, passim. 

5. Wright, Miller, and Redding, 1980, passim. 

6. Gregory A. Johnson, 'The Changing Organization of Uruk 
Administration in the Susiana Plain," in Hole, 1987, pp. 107-39. 

7. Algaze, 1989. 

8. Amiet, 1959, pp. 39-44. 

Notes on the Early History of 
Writing in Iran 

During the past twenty years considerable progress 
has been made in our understanding of the process that 
led to the invention of writing. 1 There is general agree- 
ment on the early stages, although important develop- 
mental and regional relationships will continue to be 
debated even as new information adds clarity. The 
evidence suggests that writing was invented around 
the middle of the fourth millennium B.C. in southern 
Mesopotamia, perhaps at Uruk, where the greatest 
number of early tablets have been found. Susa, while 
not the locus of the invention, holds an important place 
in the early history of this symbolic technology for 
two reasons: first, because the greatest number of 
examples of what some regard as the immediate pre- 
cursors to writing were found in the excavations there; 
second, because a still-undeciphered script, called 
Proto-Elamite, was perhaps invented and was certainly 
used at Susa contemporaneously with the archaic 
Proto-Cuneiform script of southern Mesopotamia. 

When one thinks of writing, the first thing that 
comes to mind is language. The most common defini- 
tion of true writing is: a system of visible marks that 
represent the sounds of natural language. The alpha- 
bet, one system of writing used now, has a close but far 
from exact connection with the sounds in its natural 
language referent. The alphabet, however, is only one 
of many systems that have been developed for the 
same purpose and structured fundamentally according 
to shared principles. In other systems — particularly 
in early systems of writing — the distinction between 
the representation of spoken sounds and that of words 
or concepts was not so clear-cut as it is in alphabetic 

Since no manual exists describing how writing 
came to be invented and how it worked, we are left to 
interpret the material residue of this extraordinary 
.accomplishment. What the evidence shows is that 
writing did not appear in a vacuum but was one of 
several symbolizing systems used to store and to con- 
trol the flow of information. 

The evidence for these stages of prewriting is far 
more abundantly preserved at Susa than elsewhere, 
but seems in its general form to duplicate the more 
fragmentary assemblages from Uruk and from sites 
on the upper Euphrates. Although the relative chronol- 
ogy of the evidence is not positively established, some 
think that the following steps can be reconstructed. 

The Early History of Writing \ 53 

First, clay or stone objects (called tokens) were used as 
counters and icons (symbols of commodities). Some 
tokens took on complex shapes and some were en- 
closed in hollow clay balls, or bullae. The bullae were 
then impressed with one to three engraved seals and 
sometimes also with objects identical in shape to the 
enclosed tokens. Also in use at the same time as the 
hollow clay balls were biconical clay tags and flat slabs 
impressed with numerical tally marks and seal im- 
pressions. It is clear that early on, all three artifacts 
were used together in an accounting system for the 
distribution of goods and labor. Only in level 18 (ca. 
3300 B.C.) at Susa is this full system preserved. z The 
system is changed in level 17 (ca. 3200-3100 B.C.) of 
the Acropole. The hollow clay balls, tally tablets, and 
biconical tags have been replaced by tablets of a new, 
pillowlike shape having a more complex system of 
numbering — one that gives different values to marks 
of different shapes. 3 While this nonepigraphic record- 
ing system was in use at Susa, so-called true writing 
was developed to the west, most probably at Uruk. 

The invention of writing must have happened very 
quickly, probably initially through the efforts of one 
ingenious mind; it entailed the linking of sound and 
mark through the device of a rebus. A rebus differs 
from an icon because it denotes the sound that is the 
name of an object rather than the object itself. For 
example, the picture of an eye denotes the idea/word 
T" or the sound "ay" in the English language. There is 
no evidence that by the end of the Late Uruk period at 
Susa any system of rebus notation was in use. At 
Uruk, however, evidence we now have suggests that 
the rebus, that intellectual/technological break- 
through that would lead to writing, may have been 
conceived. 4 From the more than four thousand in- 
scribed tablets from Uruk we know that in a relatively 
short time, signs and sign-combinations for commodi- 
ties, for places, and for official positions — all critical 
for an economic administration and in conventional 
accounting procedures — were in placed They mark 
the beginning of what has from 3300 b,c. been an 
unbroken tradition of literacy in southern 

No tablets written in the Proto-Cuneiform script 
known from Uruk have been found at Susa, probably 
because the language underlying that script (hypo- 
thetically Sumerian) was not the primary language 
spoken there. During the early excavations at Susa, 
however, more than fourteen hundred tablets were 
unearthed inscribed with a script that is related in 

some formal elements to the Proto-Cuneiform script 
found at Uruk. The stratigraphic location of the tablets 
was secured when more than a dozen of them were 
found in levels 16-14B of the Acropole sounding. 6 
When it was first found, the script was called Proto- 
Elamite on the assumption that its underlying lan- 
guage was somehow related to the Elamite later spoken 
and written at Susa. The Proto-Elamite script has 
never been deciphered (No. 49), although some prog- 
ress has been made toward understanding the overall 
organization of the tablets. 7 It is clear that this script 
was used, as were the Proto-Cuneiform tablets of 
Uruk, for account recording. The inscriptions begin 
with signs that are thought to designate the type of 
document and the authorizing agency Following this 
introductory formula is the tabulation of either the 
distribution or the receipt of commodities or labor. 

It is hard to believe that such an elaborate system 
for recording could have lasted only a century — the 
approximate time span assigned to the three levels in 
which the tablets are distributed. During those years, 
the script was exported as one element of an adminis- 
trative assemblage (tablets, signs, seals) to a number of 
sites on the plateau. At none of those sites is there evi- 
dence that the script continued in its original form after 
it fell out of use at Susa. The cause of its demise is de- 
batable, but must be related somehow to the strength 
of the developing cuneiform system. 


1. Gelb, 1963; idem, 1980; M. Green, 1981; Green and Nissen, 
1987; Le Brun and Vallat, 1978; Powell, 1981. 

2. Le Brun and Vallat, 1978. 

3. Le Brun, 1978. 

4. Powell, 1981. 

5. Nissen, 1974. 

6. Le Brun, 1971. 

7. Damerow and Englund, 1989, passim. 

54 I Protoliterate Susa 

Unbaked clay 

1 1. i l / 4 in. (3.3 cm); w. i'/s in. {i.j cm); d. Y 4 in. 

(2 cm); and h. 1 in. (2.4 cm); w. Ys in. (2.3 cm); 

d. Ys in. (.9 cm J 

Lflfe tirw/c period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Sf? 2027, Sb 2141 

This fragmentary clay jar sealing was impressed by 
a seal engraved with a scene showing the recording 
and storing of cereals. ' Two nude male figures are 
seen moving grain into a granary. On the right, one 
of them holds out a conical vessel, perhaps to receive 
grain; the other, behind him on the left, holds an 
identical vessel on his shoulder as he climbs a ladder 
reaching to the top of a domed granary To the right 
are the remains of what was originally an account- 
ing scene. Three groups of three sticks each are visi- 
ble, the lowest of them grasped by another figure. 
This is one of a dozen impressions of different seals 
from Susa that have the storage of grain as their 
subject. Unfortunately none of the sealings are com- 
plete, and thus the variations on the theme cannot 
easily be determined. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 8i, no. 663. 


21 Bulla with seal impressions, containing 


diam. 2Y.* in. (6 cm) 

Impressions: figures, H. iVs in. (3.4 cm); animals, 

11. iYs in. (4. j cm ) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Sb 7932 

The shape of this bulla, a hollow sphere, is identical 
to that of bullae found in level 18 of the Acropole 
sounding (for an explanation of bullae, see p. 53). ' 
The bulla was impressed by two different cylinder 

The Early History of Writing \ 55 

seals, each of which had one image carved twice on 
its surface. One seal shows a standing nude male 
figure holding a long curved object, perhaps the tail 
of an animal, a snake, or a commodity of some kind, 
in each raised hand. The other seal depicts a bird- 
headed feline, one of the few monstrous creatures 
known in the Late Uruk repertory. Emerging from 
the middle of the creature's back are two outward- 
facing felines arranged to appear as spread wings. In 
the field above is a small animal with prominent 
ears. On the body of one of the impressions of the 
monster six vertical strokes were incised, probably as 
tally marks. Both seals are cut in the massive style 
that is thought to be characteristic of the earliest 
cylinder seals. 

The bulla contains clay tokens of various shapes 
and sizes. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 74, no. 598, pi. 72, no. 581. 

22 Bulla with seal impressions, containing 


Unbaked clay 

DIAM. y/s in. (j.S cm) 

Impressions: snakes , H. iV 4 in. (3.2 cm); figures, 

h. iVs in. (2.9 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Sb 1967 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

Fifteen clay tokens in the shape of tetrahedrons and 
spheres were found in the cavity of this bulla. 1 Its 
partly preserved surface is impressed with two cyl- 

* * c U 

inder seals, but there are no impressions of tokens. 
It appears that the entire surface of the bulla was 
impressed with one cylinder and then a second cyl- 
inder was rolled over one section only. The first 
cylinder has the bold, highly legible design of two 
interlaced snakes, filled in the intervals by seven- or 
eight-petaled single rosettes. The image of the sec- 
ond seal is more fragmentary and more complex. It 
shows a standing figure holding a box in front of a 
high-prowed boat in which two figures sit. Nearby 
are a twisted snake emblem, a lattice structure, and 
a standard with a circular top. Above the boat are 
several figures: one squatting, one striding, and one 
bound. 2 


56 I Protoliterate Susa 

The snake interlace is found in both Susa and 
Mesopotamia (at Uruk) during this period. Al- 
though the motif of the rosette has no extant parallel 
from Mesopotamia, similarly structured composi- 
tions exist there. A virtually identical motif is em- 
bossed on the gold-covered handle of the Gebel el- 
Tarif knife from Egypt and on two more crudely 
carved ivory handles also found in Egypt. 3 There 
can be no doubt that this type of design came to 
Egypt from the alluvium to the east, perhaps 
through Uruk arid perhaps through Susa. It is mate- 
rial evidence, along with other fragmentary re- 
mains, of what must have been a brief but highly 
significant encounter between the two emerging 
state systems. 


1. Amiet, 1980c, pi. 30, no. 488, pi. 47, no. 668. 

2. This scene was first identified by Prudence Q Harper. 

3. Asselberghs, 1961, pis. 33, 34. 

2 3 

23 Bulla with seal and token impressions, 
containing tokens 

Clay, slightly baked 
diam. 2 2 A in. (6.5 cm) 
Impression, H. iY 4 in. (3.1 cm) 
Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

This bulla, smaller than Number 22, was found in- 
tact. It contained seven clay tokens : one large cone, 
three small cones, and three disks, one marked in its 
center. 1 The surface of the bulla was impressed all 
over with a single cylinder seal, and over that there 
are impressions in shapes identical to those of the 
tokens the bulla contained. Thus, the outside of the 
document indicates the interior contents. Following 
Pierre Amiet, Denise Schmandt-Besserat has shown 
this act of notational redundancy to be an important 
step in the development toward writing. 2 The to- 
kens, and by extension their impressions, are 
thought to represent the value of numbers and var- 
ious types of commodities. 

The impressed cylinder seal shows two or three 
birds of prey with comblike spread wings boldly ar- 
rayed, rising from the middle of the back. Although 
the impression is not well preserved, it can be seen 
that the head of each raptor is bent down to meet a 

I I @ 

striated conical form. Beneath each bird's body is a 
lyre-shaped form, perhaps caprid's horns. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 168, no. 539. 

2. Schmandt-Besserat, 1992. 

24 Tablet with a seal impression and 
markings having numerical value 

Unbaked clay 

h. 2V4 in. (5.8 cm); w. 2V2 in. (6.4 cm) 
Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 
Sb 2313 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1933-39- 

The size of this tablet and its numerical markings 
set it apart from the type of tablet more commonly 
found in the latest Uruk levels of the Acropole 
sounding. 1 However, because it has no script and be- 
cause of the design with which it is impressed, there 
can be little question of the tablet's Late Uruk date. 
The seal shows two files of calves, one above the 
other, calmly walking in opposite directions — a 
composition typical of seals used in the transitional 
time between the Late Uruk and Proto-Elamite pe- 
riods. Files of animals are also found impressed on 
tablets having only one or two signs of writing. Al- 
though badly obscured by the impressed numbers, 
the engraving of the small animal figures is partic- 
ularly fine. Numerous extant impressions of this 
seal show that it was used not only on three numeri- 
cal tablets but also on sealed containers of various 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 99, no. 922. 

The Two Archaic Deposits 

In 1909 Roland de Mecquenem found two deposits 
containing small sculptures, now known as the "ar- 
chaic deposits/' in trench 26 of the Acropole excavation 
site at Susa. They were situated only a meter apart, not 
far from the western edge of the mound. The artifacts 
of the first deposit "were in a heap in the earth. " Those 
in the second "appeared to have been piled between 
thin limestone tablets placed upright/' 1 

An exact tally of the objects in the two deposits has 
been drawn up from data provided by Mecquenem / by 
his assistant Louis Le Breton, who conducted further 
examinations/ and by Pierre Amiet, who worked from 
the drawings of R Toscanne, a member of the Mec- 
quenem mission. 4 The first find consisted of seventeen 
small sculptures as well as "many beads of white paste 
. . . , two beads of rock crystal, a small bronze mirror, 
about fifty seashells," and stones/ The deposit is het- 
erogeneous in material — mainly alabaster, but also 
terracotta, copper, pink and yellow limestone, ceramic, 
and clay — and contained a variety of objects, includ- 
ing animal sculptures, vessels, a lozenge-shaped bead, 
a pm surmounted by an ibex, a worshiper, and six 
objects catalogued below (Nos. 25-30). 

The second deposit seems a more coherent group. It 
is largely made up of vessels, often zoomorphic, and 
the pieces are all of alabaster except for a painted 
terracotta bird. The vessels have cavities and were 
perhaps meant to hold offerings such as oil or per- 
fume. This deposit also includes "shells and paste 
stones of rather bizarre shapes." 6 

The objects in the archaic deposits date from differ- 
ent periods. 7 Most of the alabaster sculptures are Mes- 
opotamian Late Uruk in style, and can be compared 

with stratified material found by Alain Le Brun on the 
Susa Acropole/ However, three sculptures from the 
first deposit and one from the second, made of marble, 
are Proto-Elamite in style (Nos. 27-29). It is likely 
then, that the archaic deposits were buried during the 
Proto-Elamite period. Le Breton and Amiet have in- 
terpreted them as foundation offerings. 

The sculptures from the deposits resemble those 
found elsewhere on the Susa Acropole. Representa- 
tions of birds, monkeys, bears, and hedgehogs are also 
known from other sites of the period, in particular Tell 
Brak/ The material from Susa, however, even in the 
Late Uruk period, exhibits a distinctive quality of its 
own, and to our eyes, a sense of humor. Humans are 
represented with fidelity, and animals sometimes 
adopt human activities and gestures. Later, in the art 
of the Proto-Elamite period, animal representations 
supplanted human figures altogether. 



1. Mecquenem, 1911b; and see pp. 51, 5 V 

2. Mecquenem, 1911b, pp. 5-1-55. 

v Le Breton, 1957, pp. 109-12, fig. ^2. 

4. Amiet, 1976c, pp. 62-63, p'- T 9- 

5. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 5 V 

6. Ibid. 

7. I For another view, see above, pp. 50-51. — Ed. J 

8. Le Brun, 1971, fig. 54. 

9. Mallowan, 1947, pis. 7, 10, 52. 


The Two Archaic Deposits \ 59 

25 Female worshiper 


H. 2V2 in. (6.2 cm); l. i 3 / 4 in. (4.5 cm); w. i 5 /s in. 
(4 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

First archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 70 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

The alabaster orants, or praying figures, found at 
Susa may be the earliest evidence of a custom com- 
monly observed in Mesopotamia during the Su- 
merian period, that of worshipers placing images of 
themselves in temples to perpetuate their prayers. 

Certain iconographic features are common to all 
the Susian female worshiper figures: almond-shaped 
eyes, an aquiline nose extending directly from the 
forehead, fleshy lips, and hair falling down the back 

in a curve and held in place by a band, here repre- 
sented by an incision. In this case, the high breasts 
are supported by clasped hands. 

The figure, who kneels, wears a long skirt. She 
has two small feet, seen from the back, with inci- 
sions separating the ten toes. The kneeling posture 
with a skirt that covers the knees is distinctively 
Elamite and is common to all the female worshipers. 
It reappears during the Proto-Elamite period in con- 
nection with a different kind of figure, the silver bull 
now in the Metropolitan Museum (fig. 5, p. 5). 1 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 52, fig. 15; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 39, 
no. 10; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 32, no. 24; Parrot, 1960, 
fig. 85; Amiet, 1966, fig. 92; Orthmann, 1975, fig. 276a; 
Amiet, 1977, fig. 239, p. 336; Spycket, 1981, p. 35, no. 33, 
pi. 25. 

6o Protoliterate Susa 


26 Male worshiper 

Yellow limestone 

H. 2 5 /s in. (6.6 cm); w. iV 4 in. (3.3 cm]; D. V 2 in. 
(1.3 cmj 

Late iirw/c period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

F/rsf archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 72 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

This sculpture is without parallel among contempo- 
rary Susian worshipers. 1 First, the figure is shown 
standing rather than kneeling or crouching; second, 
the body is out of proportion, with the upper part 
given greater emphasis than the lower part; and fi- 
nally the sculpture is essentially flat rather than vol- 
umetric. The angularity of the incised lines marking 
the chest, face, toes, and fingers led Pierre Amiet to 
call it " cubist" in style. 

The worshiper appears to be wearing a long 
skirt, a garment which may have had some special 
significance and which does not appear on the seal 
impressions depicting men engaged in daily 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 51, fig. 4; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 39, 
no. 1; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 32, no. 10; Amiet, 1966, 
fig. 48; Spycket, 1981, pp. 351., fig. 26; Amiet, 1977, p. 356, 
fig. 238; idem, 1988b, p. 40, fig. 14. 

27 Monstrous feline 

Gray marble 

H. 2 in. (5.1 cm); L. y/s in. (7.9 cm); W. iY 4 in. 
(3.2 cm) 

Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3000-2900 B.C. 

First archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 108 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

A number of attached pieces completed this statuette 
of a humped animal, to judge from the holes that 
remain. 1 According to Pierre Amiet, the ends of the 
legs were of metal; on the base of the neck there was 
a mane or perhaps even a wing in profile, an indica- 
tion that the animal would have been a griffin; and 
the tiny loop in back could have been joined to a 
multiple tail, like the tail of the contemporary lion- 
demon sculpture on loan to the Brooklyn Museum 
and the tails of lion-demons illustrated on seals (fig. 
30, p. 69, and No. 47). 2 

On the basis of the rendering of the musculature 
and of the curls of hair on the animal's back, this 
piece is judged to be Proto-Elamite in style (see also 
No. 28). 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 52; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 38, no. 1; 
Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 32, no. 8; Amiet, 1966, fig. 63; 
Spycket, 1981, p. 44, no. 87; Amiet, 1986a, pp. 98, 258, fig. 
44; idem, 1988b, p. 59, fig. 23. 

2. Amiet, 1988b, p. 59, fig. 23; idem, 1980c, figs. 543, 546, 574, 


The Two Archaic Deposits \ 61 

28 Headless statuette of a resting bovine 

White marble 

H. iVs in. (3.4 cm); L. 2V4 in. (5.7 cm); W. 1 in. 
(2.3 cm) 

Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3000-2900 B.C. 

First archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sh 110 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

The animal shown here is incomplete: a head that 
was probably of a different material, perhaps metal, 
was originally fastened to the tenon at the front of 
the body. 1 The loop on the back is broken. Other ar- 
tifacts of the same period give evidence of having 
been made with attached parts of different materials 
(see No. 27 and fig. 30, p. 69). 

The animal is at rest, its legs folded beneath its 
body. The back hoof on the right side is not visible; 
apparently the artist had observed that bovines tend 
to turn their rear right leg toward the left when 
lying down. The rendering of muscle masses and of 
the curls of hair on the feet are in keeping with a 
new, more decorative Proto-Elamite style. 

In the Proto-Elamite period, images of bovines 
and felines often occur together on seals. 2 Their as- 
sociation, already seen on sculpted vases of the Late 
Uruk period in Mesopotamia, may symbolize a 
union of the domestic and the savage realms. 


1. See Mecquenem, 191th, p. 52; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 38, no. 4; 
Le Breton, 1957, p. in, fig. 32, no. 9; Amiet, 1966, fig. 64; 
Spycket, 1981, p. 44, no. 85, pi. 33; Amiet, 1986a, pp. 98 and 
258, no. 45. 

2. Amiet, 1980c, nos. 585, 586, 591. 


29 Dead bird 

White marble 

H. i 7 /s in. (4.9 cm); W. iVs in. (3 cm); D. 1V2 in. 
(3.7 cm) 

Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3000-2900 B.C. 

First archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 105 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

The presence of a loop, its position marking the top 
of this sculpture, indicates that the bird, probably a 
dove, is dead. The head falls forward and the folded 
wings, apparently tied together, have lost all 
muscularity 1 

The sculpture exhibits considerable three- 
dimensionality. It was not meant to be seen from the 
side only; in front view the wings project forcefully 
where they join the body, giving the whole object a 
triangular outline. Like other works in a Proto- 
Elamite style (Nos. 27, 28), this sculpture is made 
of marble. 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 52, fig. 16; MDP 13 (1912), p. 38, 
no. 6; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 32, no. 4; Amiet, 1966, 
fig. 85; Spycket, 1981, p. 44, no. 82. 


62 I Protoliterate Susa 

30 Small vessel with two necks 

Painted alabaster 

H. iVs in. (6 cm); L. 4V4 in. (10.7 cm); w. lVs in. 
(3-5 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

First archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 4005 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

Small alabaster vessels with two or three necks, 
some with zoomorphic appendages, are well known 
from the late fourth millennium in Susa (see No. 
35). Traces of red and black paint are visible on this 
example, and its entire surface is incised with a zig- 
zag decoration. 1 The two necks lead to two small 
cone-shaped cavities that still display the marks left 
by a circular tool at the bottom. Most of the object 
has not been hollowed out, which explains its sur- 
prising weight. The capacity of this small receptacle 
is very limited; perhaps it was used for perfume. 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 51; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 
32, no. 2. 

31 Female worshiper 

Gypsum alabaster 

H. 4V2 in. (11.5 cm); L. 2 7 /s in. (y.2 cm); w. i 3 / 4 in. 
(4-5 cm ) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Second archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 69 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

One might be tempted to put this worshiper to- 
gether with the one from the first deposit (No. 25) 
on the basis of the kneeling posture, long hair held 
by a band (here in relief), high bosom, almond- 
shaped eyes, and aquiline nose. 1 Yet this figure — the 
loveliest of the worshiper series and "one of the most 
arresting ancient expressions of prayer/' in the words 
of Pierre Amiet 2 — is sculpture of a very different 
order from the others. Its greater size has made it 
possible to render precisely the position of the hands 
in prayer, with the two little fingers crossed, the in- 
dex and middle fingers touching, and the thumbs 
meeting beneath the chin. Attentive to other details 
as well, the artist hollowed out the space between the 
arms and sought to establish a balance between the 
arms and the face. This entailed a slight elongation 

The Two Archaic Deposits \ 63 

of the forearms and of the chin. 3 Like the statuette 
of a dead bird from the first deposit (No. 29), this 
figure was meant to be seen not just in profile but 
also from the front, where the symmetrically placed 
arms create a satisfying equilibrium. 

The figure was carved from very fine alabaster; 
the sculptor may have turned the head toward the 
left in order to avoid a grayish vein discovered in the 
course of his work. 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 54, fig. 19; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 39, 
no. 6; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 32, no. 25; Strommenger, 
1964, pi. 36, p. 59; Amiet, 1966, fig. 91; idem, 1977, fig. 
2 37> P- 356; Spycket, 1981, p. 35, no. 33, pi. 25; Amiet, 
1988b, fig. 19, p. 48. 

2. Amiet, 1966, p. 128. 

3. Agnes Spycket calls this a case of protruding jaw, or progna- 
thism. Spycket, 1981, p. 35. 

32 Worshiper with a vessel 


h. 4V2 in. (11.6 cm); L. /f/s in. (10.5 cm); w. 2V2 in. 
(6.3 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Second archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 71 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

This worshiper, unlike others in the archaic deposits, 
is represented sitting rather than kneeling. 1 The fig- 
ure holds out a collared vessel, which is probably an 
offering, in a gesture seen on the later Proto-Elamite 
silver bull in the Metropolitan Museum (fig. 5, 
p. 5). The sex of the worshiper is unclear: the gar- 
ments and the absence of breasts suggest a man, but 
the hair falling down the back in a curve suggests a 
woman. On seals of this period, men are usually de- 
picted with short hair or even shaven heads. 

64 I Protoliterate Susa 

The work is rather crude. The eyes are barely in- 
dicated; the forearms are of unequal length and not 
in proportion to the rest of the arm; the fingers are 
marked off by simple lines; and no space has been 
left between the arms or between the jar and the 
chest. The legs, joined together, are differentiated 
only by a groove, a stylistic device also found on the 
drinking bear from the same deposit 2 and elsewhere 
on statuettes of women. 3 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 55, fig. 21; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 39, 
no. 9; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, fig. 32, no. 26; Parrot, 1960, 
fig. 103b; Strommenger, 1964, pi. 37, pp. 387-88; Amiet, 
1966, fig. 94; Orthmann, 1975, fig. 276b; Spycket, 1981, 

p. 35, no. 36, fig. 11. 

2. Amiet, 1966, fig. 73. 

3. Amiet, 1976c, p. 62 and pi. 19, 1, 2; Le Brun, 1971, fig. 44. 

33 Seated monkey 


H. 5% in. (13.5 cm); w. lYs in. (6 cm); D. yA in. 
(9 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Second archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 119 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

According to the excavator, this figure "was origi- 
nally fastened on a base by means of three pegs/' 1 

A number of representations of monkeys have 
been found at Susa (see No. 61). This one is shown 
seated with its hands on its knees, meditating like a 
human. The portrayal of animals whose attitudes re- 
semble those of people — another example being the 
drinking bear (No. 38) — is characteristic of the art 
of this period. 

The creature sits huddled and immobile. The flat 
profile of the head, the height of the body, the ab- 
sence of neck, the arching back, and the variation in 
thickness of the fur on the animal's front and back 
are all carefully observed and rendered, allowing it 
to be identified as Papio hamadryas. 2 Two holes rep- 
resent the eyes. 3 


1. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 54. 

2. Information from Francis Petter, deputy director of the Mu- 
seum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. 

3. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 54 and fig. 20; MDP 13 (1912), pi 
39, nos. 5, 7; Le Breton, 1957, p. in, fig. 32, no. 27; Parrot, 
1960, fig. 103c; Strommenger, 1964, fig. 37 and p. 388; Am- 
iet, 1966, fig. 74; idem, 1977, p. 356, fig. 247; Spycket, 1981, 
p. 43, no. 78, pi. 32. 


The Two Archaic Deposits | 65 

34 Bird-shaped vessel 

Alabaster, bitumen(?) 

H. 2V4 in. (5.8 cm); L. 4 in. (10.2 cm); w. i 3 / 4 in. 
6f -5 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Second archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 3015 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

Three bird-shaped vessels were found in the second 
deposit. This example has a single opening on the 
back, probably originally surmounted by a short ver- 
tical neck. 

The Susian artists' skill at capturing the poised 
bearing of animals is expressed here with origi- 
nality. The bird's round, staring eye set off by black, 
its wings folded tightly against its body, and the feet 
drawn together with their two incised claws under- 
neath all heighten the sense of the creature's 

The species of the bird is unclear; perhaps it is a 
water-hen or a partridge. 1 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 53, fig. 18; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 38, 
no. 12; Le Breton, 1957, p. in, fig. 32, no. 17; Parrot, 1960, 
fig. 103a; Strommenger, 1964, fig. 35, p. 387; Amiet, 1966, 
fig. 69; idem, 1977, p. 356, fig. 242. 


35 Vessel with three necks and an animal 


Alabaster, bitumen(?) 

H. 3 in. (7.7 cm); L. 6% in. (16 cm); w. i 5 /s in. 
(4.2 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Second archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 3030 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

This vessel is decorated with the head of a hedgehog 
that has pointed ears and an elongated muzzle. 1 The 
eye, a mere incised dot inlaid with a black material, 
equals in vivacity that of the bird from the same de- 
posit (No. 34). The vessel is incised with a charac- 
teristic zigzag pattern. Within are three rather large 
unconnected cavities. 

A three-necked vessel that seems to be much 
bigger than this one is represented on a sealed clay 
ball. z According to Pierre Amiet, zoomorphic vessels 
may have been brought as offerings to the temple, 
where they substituted for living animals. 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 53, fig. 17; MDP 13 (1912), pi. 38, 
no. 10; Le Breton, 1937, p. in, fig. 32, no. 19; Amiet, 1966, 
fig. 65. 

2. Amiet, 1980c, pi. 16, no. 265. 


66 Protoliterate Susa 

36 Vessel in the shape of a bag 


H. 2 5 A in. (6.7 cm); w. 2 7 /s in. (7.2 cm); D. 2 m. 
(5.2 cm] 

Late L/rw/c period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Second archaic deposit, Acropole, trench 26; Sb 3012 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1909. 

The vessel 1 reproduces in miniature a type of hide or 
cloth bag that was used for transporting goods. Such 
bags were secured against unauthorized opening by 
seal impressions placed on the string that closed the 
bag. The bags are rarely represented on seals and 
seal impressions, 2 although images of jars with two 
handles^ vessels with two or three necks/* and jugs 
with spouts^ are common. 


1. See Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 53; Le Breton, 1957, p. 111, 
fig. 32, no. 14. 

2. One of these bags, closed, might be represented on the exam- 
ple shown in Amiet, 1980c, p. 14 bis O. 

3. Ibid., nos. 262, 291, 321, 326, etc. 

4. Ibid., nos. 261, 265, etc. 

5. Ibid., nos. 333, 335, etc. 

Contemporary Sculpture 


37 Bird 

Bitumen compound; shell inlay 

H. 2V4 in. (7 cm); L. 4% in. (10.3 cm) 

Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 

Acropole; Sb 2918 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1934. 

This statuette represents a predatory bird in a 
crouching position, its legs tucked under its body 1 
The bird's body is schematically and economically 
rendered; the eyes are inlaid with shell. A hole run- 
ning vertically through the middle of the statuette 
indicates that in antiquity it was placed on a support 
or staff. The object is a very early example of the 
use of bitumen compound as a sculptural medium at 


The Two Archaic Deposits \ 6y 

Susa. Bitumen compound was primarily employed 
at Susa in the subsequent Old Elamite period (ca. 
2700-1600 B.C.). 


1. Amiet, 1966, fig. 86. 

38 Drinking bear 

Alabaster; gray paste inlay 

H. 4 in. (10 cm); L. iVs in. (6 cm); w. i¥s in. (3.6 cm) 
Late Uruk period, ca. 3300 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2984 

A species of small tractable brown bears, Ursus 
arctos syriacus (also called Persian bears), can still 
be found in Iran today, especially in the Zagros re- 
gion. When given a bottle filled with a sweet liquid, 
which it likes, this animal spontaneously settles back 
on its rear, bending its hind legs and wrapping its 
front paws around the container. 1 That amusing po- 
sition twice engaged the attention of Susian artists, 2 
who were sensitive to the kinship between man and 
animal^ and had a keen sense of observation and a 
gift for vividly capturing a real-life posture. (The 
bear was probably domesticated by the beginning of 
the fourth millennium B.C.) 

On this statuette 4 the animal's small ear, the 
length of its snout hidden by the paws, the round- 
ness of its head and body, and its gluttonous concen- 
tration have all been faithfully rendered. 5 The artist 
was careful to separate the front limbs from the 
body and to reproduce the sweeping gesture with 
which the bear tilts the container into the most com- 
fortable position possible. 


1. Information furnished by Francis Petter, deputy director of the 
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. 

2. Amiet, 1966, figs. 72, 73. 

3. Ibid., figs. 72-74- 

4. See Jequier, 1905, p. 19, fig. 12; Pottier, 1912, pi. 39:2; Con- 
tenau, 1927-31, vol. i, p. 371, fig. 275; Le Breton, 1957, p. 
111, fig. 31, no. 7; Amiet, 1966, fig. 72; Spycket, 1981, p. 43 
n. 79. 

5. The bear in Amiet, 1966, no. 73, is represented in a much 
more cubist manner. 


The Proto-Elamite Period 

Virtually everywhere archaeologists have looked in 
the drainage basin of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, 
they find evidence of significant contact between peo- 
ples in distant communities during the second half of 
the fourth millennium. There can be no doubt that 
Susa, whether as a peer polity of Uruk or directly 
dependent on it, shared cultural traits with that com- 
munity which had its center in southern Meso- 
potamia. Sometime around 3000 B.C., the seemingly 
coherent Late Uruk community changed. The most 
far-flung of its known extensions on the upper Eu- 
phrates, Habuba Kabira and Jebel Aruda, were aban- 
doned; and, to judge from the material culture of sites 
closer to the heartland, regional differences began to 

Although difficult to interpret, the archaeological 
record shows that something also happened at Susa. 
There is a break in the stratigraphic sequence in the 
Acropole sounding and a corresponding change in 
some of the components of the material culture. Some 
scholars think this hiatus indicates that the entire site 
of Susa was abandoned and then, during the following 
phase, was annexed and resettled by people from the 
highland. Another interpretation is that the hiatus 
exists essentially in the sounding and reflects the dimi- 
nution of western influence and the increased influence 
of a people more closely tied linguistically and cultur- 
ally to communities living on the plateau. It was Susa's 
location, on the border between the alluvial floodplain 
of Mesopotamia and the highlands of Iran, that gave it 
special importance through its entire history. Rather 
than being understood as a peripheral outpost alter- 
nating between the domination of a lowland and of a 
highland polity, Susa can be seen as a pivotal locus for 
the control of various routes to the immensely rich 
resources found in the Iranian highland. 

The period following the Late Uruk is called the 
Proto-Elamite. Although poorly known, this period 

Figure 29. Antelope. Iran(?), Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3000 B.C. 
Silver, h. 4 3 /s in. (11.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
Rogers Fund, 1947 (47.100.89) 

was certainly one of high artistic creativity in the 
ancient Near East. In the absence of other historical 
markers, the Proto-Elamite period is named after its 
most notable invention, a system of true writing used 
to record commodity transactions. Clearly inspired by 
and modeled on the Proto- Cuneiform script of Sumer, 
the Proto-Elamite script is an entirely independent 
script that represents a different underlying language, 
perhaps related to the later Elamite. 

The ceramics found in Proto-Elamite levels at Susa 
suggest a turning away from some of the techniques 
and traditions of the Uruk period and the adoption of 


The Proto-Elamite Period | 69 

others known in the highland of southern Iran, partic- 
ularly from the valley of Marv Dasht in the present- 
day province of Fars. However, there is an important 
exception: in all Proto-Elamite contexts, the beveled- 
rim bowl and the low-sided tray utilitarian ceramic 
types that were the hallmark of the Late Uruk phase, 
continued in use. Reflecting a relationship formally 
similar to the earlier one between Susa and Uruk, 
several sites on the Iranian plateau have material as- 
semblages that are distinctively Proto-Elamite. These 
include seals, sculpture, tablets, and ceramics. 

While the evidence is sparse, it is possible that the 
beginning of this change in orientation can be ob- 
served at the very end of the Late Uruk period, in level 
17B of the sounding at Susa. At that moment a mate- 
rial culture related to Susa 17B first appeared at Godin, 
Sialk, and Malyan. These sites were located on the 
primary northern and southern routes for obtaining 
the raw materials in demand in the alluvium. 

Future investigations will undoubtedly reveal a 
substantial Proto-Elamite presence along the northern 
route skirting the edge of the Kavir Desert. But only 
along the southern route, which follows the southern 
edge of the Desert of Lut, can this remarkable cultural 
expansion be traced. Abundant evidence substantiates 
the presence of Proto-Elamite culture at ancient An- 
shan, which later became a highland Elamite capital. 
Proto-Elamite occupation is clearly visible at sites in- 
vestigated along the southern route, all the way to the 
Seistan Basin in eastern Iran. Proto-Elamite seals and 
tablets have been found at both Tepe Yahya and Shahr-i 
Sokhta. Tal-i Iblis and Shahdad, in the region of Ker- 
man, probably also had a Proto-Elamite presence. The 
legacy of that initial lowland expansion onto the high- 
land plateau, although elusive, was certainly a major 
one; it became the basis for modes of cultural expres- 
sion used by the highland cultures, which were to 
flourish during the third millennium and emerge in a 
fully federated alliance with the lowland during the 
early part of the second millennium. 

Proto-Elamite Art 

Sculpture and glyptic make up the majority of the 
evidence for the visual culture of the Proto-Elamites. 
Although there is no direct evidence of monumental 
sculpture, the notion of monumentality is clearly im- 
plied in certain of the glyptic representations. As in the 
Late Uruk period, some of the small-scale sculpture is 

Figure 30. Lion-demon. Iran(?), Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3000 B.C. 
Crystalline limestone or magnesite, H. yA in. (8.8 cm). Collection of 
Robin B. Martin, on loan to The Brooklyn Museum, L48.7.9 

of the highest quality Three of the finest pieces, two in 
the collection of the Metropolitan Museum and the 
other in the collection of Robin B. Martin and on loan 
to the Brooklyn Museum, can be assigned to the 
Proto-Elamite period through comparison with the 
images in glyptic (figs. 29, 30). 

As was the case with the Late Uruk period, the best 
view of the Proto-Elamites is gained from images on 
the seals, although in this period their meaning is less 
accessible. The ten examples selected for this catalogue 
from the more than three hundred Proto-Elamite seals 
and sealings from Susa housed in the Louvre provide 
fine examples of the most typical subjects and compo- 
sitions. Certain characteristic features are imme- 
diately identifiable; all the examples depict what are 
probably wild animals, including two distinct types of 
bull, a variety of goats or sheep, felines, and wild boar. 
Except for demonic figures, most commonly combin- 
ing features of birds and lions, and the extremely rare 
occurrence of other animal species and human beings, 
that is the extent of the subjects presented in Proto- 
Elamite seals. 

70 | Protoliterate Susa 

Virtually unique to the Proto-Elamite period and 
confined almost exclusively to figural seals such as 
these is the material called heulandite, a light greenish, 
soft, talclike stone. 1 It would be interesting to know 
the precise source of this unusual material. 

This selection also illustrates the stylistic range of 
Proto-Elamite imagery. The seals share such features 
as compact, segmented bodies, the linear definition of 
forms, and a flat, two-dimensional rendering of the 
figures. From the combination of perspectives in 
which the animal's body is presented, it can be argued 
that such Proto-Elamite images as the lion-demon (fig. 
30 and No. 47), unlike their more sculptural Late Uruk 
counterparts, were conceived in two rather than three 


1. C. Lahnier, "Note sur l'emploi de l'heulandite et de la mor- 
dentite dans la fabrication des sceaux-cylindres proto-elamites, 
Annales du laboratories de recherche des Musees de France 
(1976), pp. 6 5 -66. 

Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings 

Unlike the seals of the Late Uruk period, which were 
cut according to a rather narrow range of stylistic 
conventions, Proto-Elamite seals, while they share 
fundamental stylistic features, display a great deal of 
individuality For example, two seals describe the 
bodies of the animals with intense, nonrealistic inter- 
nal patterning (Nos. 41, 43), but accomplished differ- 
ently in each. The lines on the haunch of the animal in 
Number 41 are angular, while those on the haunch of 
Number 43 are curved. In the rendering of animals on 
the other seals the artists avoided internal patterning 
entirely, choosing to define body parts by varying the 
level of the flat relief of the body masses. In Numbers 
40 and 44 a drill was used to define hair masses and 
joints of the body, while in the others all evidence of 
the drill was eradicated by the subsequent use of a 
graver. That sort of stylistic variation is one of the 
features that gives Proto-Elamite art such extraordin- 
ary vigor. 

The compositions of the scenes engraved on the 
seals presented here are also typical. Animals are 
shown singly (No. 44) or in files (Nos. 39, 43); they 
are seen as confronted pairs (No. 40), in heraldic com- 
position (No. 45), and engaged in an interaction that 
suggests attack (Nos. 40-42). 

One striking feature of Proto-Elamite art is the 
depiction of animals in the context of a landscape. 
Though to us a commonplace of visual naturalism, 
landscape elements are rarely found in the art of the 
ancient Near East, and when they do occur they are 
generally emblematic. The only other consistent ap- 
pearance of landscape, prior to the influence of Aegean 
artistic traditions in the middle of the second millen- 
nium, occurs in the equally vigorous art of the Akka- 
dian period (2334-2193 B.C.). Landscape is partic- 
ularly obvious in Numbers 41 and 42, both showing 
animals among plants, and Number 45, which displays 
two pairs of mountain goats, each pair flanking a tree 
placed on top of a pyramidal mountain. It should be 
mentioned that while elements of landscape are cer- 
tainly denoted, both the mountain and the tree are 
signs used in the Proto-Elamite script. 

Another device found in Proto-Elamite art is the 
metonymic mode of representation, in which a part of 
an animal is used to refer to the entire creature. That 
approach, employed to great advantage in the earliest 
phases of the Proto- Cuneiform and Proto-Elamite 
scripts, can be clearly seen in Number 41, where the 
head of a caprid emerges from a striated circle. 

Other consistent patterns are suggested in the 
combinations of creature types. For example, caprids 
are not usually shown with other animals, although 
different species within the genus are often combined. 
Number 39 is an exception; there we see bulls, heads 
frontally depicted, arrayed in a file above which are 
two rows of caprids. Lions and bulls, however, are 
frequently combined, often shown in what seems to be 
a position of attack. The lion is usually the most active 
of the animals, shown walking, running, or in a threat- 
ening stance, but it can also appear in a defensive 
posture, its head turned back (No. 41). 

Multiple-register compositions are common in the 
animal file depictions of this glyptic style. In these 
compositions, the field is often informally divided into 
three sections. The bottom register of animals occu- 
pies two-thirds of the field, with an upper register 
deployed in the remaining third. Although the theory 
is impossible to prove, Amiet has speculated that this 
variation in scale was used to suggest spatial perspec- 
tive, with the smaller animals in the upper registers 
meant to be understood as being farther away. 1 


1. Amiet, 1980c, pp. 111-14. 

Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings \ 71 

39 Cylinder seal with rows of animals 

Green heulandite 

H. 2 5 /s in. (6.6 cm); diam. iVs in. (3 cm); string hole 
% in. (.65 cm) 

Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 2428 

Beneath two rows of caprids, walking to the left (in 
the impression), is one row of bulls. This seal's com- 
position, animals shown in files one above the other, 
is typical of the Proto-Elamite period. However, the 
combination of species displayed on the seal — bulls 
with heads turned out below two rows of caprids — 
is unusual, for caprids are not generally depicted 
with other animals. The simple outline of the figures 
emphasizes the graphic, two-dimensional nature of 
Proto-Elamite glyptic. 1 


40 Unpierced cylinder seal with bulls and 

Pink marble 

H. iVs in. (4.1 cm); diam. 1 in. (2.6 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 6166 

Excavated 1932. 

The seal shows confronted kneeling bulls separated 
by a flower. Above and on a slightly smaller scale is 
a lion pursuing a bovid with its head turned back. 
Next to them is a cross. 

In rendering the animals on this seal 1 the artist 
avoided internal patterning and used a drill only to 
define hair masses and joints of the body. The com- 
position, with confronted bovids below and a bovid 
and feline attack scene above, is typical of the Proto- 
Elamite period. The cross, here in the upper field, is 

1. Delaporte, 1920, pi. 26, no. 6. 

39 Modern impression 


Modern impression 

72 I Protoliterate Susa 

one of the signs most frequently used in Proto- 
Elamite script. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 107, no. 999; Mecquenem, 1925/ p. 13, 
fig. 22. 

42 Cylinder seal with bovid, calf, and lion 

Bitumen compound 

H. iV 4 in. (3.2 cm); diam. 5 /s in. (1.6 cm); string hole 
Vis in. (.4 cm) 

Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 1484 


Green and purplish heulandite 
H. 1V4 in. (4.3 cm); diam. iV 4 in. (3.1 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 1488 

Depicted are a bovid and a feline with its head 
turned back. In the upper field are the head of a 
horned animal and leafed branches. 

This seal 1 exemplifies one striking feature of 
Proto-Elamite art, the representation of animals in 
the context of landscape (see p. 70). 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 102, no. 949; Mecquenem, 1934, p. 195/ 
fig. 30:5. 

Above a bovid and a calf are a striding lion and a 
leafy branch. The stocky proportions of the animals' 
bodies are characteristic of Proto-Elamite-style 
seals. Interlocking curving forms that echo each 
other, as they do here, also characterize the best of 
the Proto-Elamite seals. The bull shown on this 
seal, 1 almost certainly an aurochs, is one of two 
types depicted in the period. The other type, seen 
for example on Number 40, is certainly of another 
species, perhaps domesticated. The aurochs is distin- 
guished by the frontal position of the horns and the 
presence of long hair on the chest. 


1. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 107, no. 1000. 

Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings | 73 

43 Unpierced cylinder seal with horned 


H. i 7 /s in. (4.9 cm); diam. iVs in. (3 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 2429 

The two files of creatures on this beautiful seal 1 in- 
clude two types of horned mountain animals, proba- 
bly goats, and mountain sheep, walking in a field of 
flowers. As in Number 40, the bodies of the sheep 
are differentiated by alternating body markings. 


1. Delaporte, 1920, pi. 26:7. 

44 Unpierced cylinder seal with a lion 

White limestone 

H. iV 4 in: (4.6 cm); diam. iV 4 in. (3.1 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 2426 

Only rarely is a single animal engraved on a cylin- 
der seal. 1 Rolling out the seal to make an impres- 
sion, however, produces an unending file of identical 
figures. The body of this lion is formed by a simple 
outline; his head and his powerful mane are created 
by drillings of different sizes. 


1. Delaporte, 1920, pi. 26:2. 

74 I Protoliterate Susa 

Modern impression 


45 Unpierced cylinder seal with caprids 
and trees 


H. iVs in. (3.4 cm); diam. 2 in. (2.4 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 2675 

This is one of the masterpieces of Proto-Elamite 
glyptic art. 1 Two powerful mountain goats are 
shown facing a tree on a mountain in a formal, he- 
raldic composition, its symmetry emphasized by the 
repetition of forms in' the field. The primary theme 
is echoed by a small pair of caprids diagonally flank- 
ing a tree on a mountain. The cross, shown three 
times in the upper field, is a sign belonging to the 
Proto-Elamite script. Although the tree on the 
mountain is undoubtedly a landscape element, tree, 
mountain, and the combination of the two are dis- 
tinct script signs as well. 


1. Rutten, 1935-36, vol. 2, p. 74, no. 43. 

46 Tablet with impression of a horned 
animal and a plant 


H. 2Y2 in. (6.4 cm); w. i 3 / 4 in. (4.5 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 4841 

Excavated by Morgan. 

This tablet is inscribed with Proto-Elamite script 
and impressed by a seal. The seal would have had 
one caprid and a plant engraved on its surface, but 
because of multiple rollings there are repeated im- 
ages of the animal. As is obvious from this example, 
seals were applied to the still-soft tablets first and 
the inscriptions added afterwards. 


1. MDP 16 (1921), pi. 8, no. 125. 


Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings | 75 

47 Large tablet with impressions of 
dominating animals 


H. 8V 4 in. {21 cm); w. ioVz in. (26 ,7 cm J 
Impressed with a seal of H. i s /s in. (4.2 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sfe 2801 

Excavated by Morgan. 

This clay tablet 1 and Number 48 are impressed by 
seals depicting the other major theme of Proto- 
Elamite glyptic, animals acting as human beings. 
Among figural Proto-Elamite seals there are fewer 
than five representations of actual human figures. 
But in their place are the animals familiar from the 


animal files, shown engaged in human activities. 
The three principal animals endowed with human 
attributes are the lion, the bull, and the caprid. Al- 
though what these figures represent is unknown, the 
clear relationships established between them allow 
us to see a hierarchy that may in some ways repli- 
cate the power structure of Proto-Elamite society. 

Impressed on this largest preserved Proto- 
Elamite tablet is an image considered the epitome of 
Proto-Elamite art. A massive bull standing on its 
hind legs, head and horns facing frontally, dominates 
two small flanking felines. Alongside this triangular 
composition is its opposite in both formal and icono- 
graphic terms. A massive feline demon embraces 
two rampant bulls in an inverted triangular compo- 
sition. Above the head of each of the dominated 

j6 I Protoliterate Susa 

47, detail 

bulls is a fringed triangular shape that is a fre- 
quently occurring sign on inscribed tablets. Al- 
though precisely who or what these two powerful 
supernatural creatures represent is unknown, they 
must refer to a great authority either earthly or cos- 
mic. They are often shown in balanced compositions, 
like this one, which suggest their opposed but 
equal — or almost equal — power or status. 

This tablet also carries a Proto-Elamite inscrip- 
tion on both sides. 


1. Scheil, 1905, pi. 24; Leon Legrain, "Empreintes de cachets 
elamites," MDP 16 (1921), pi. 23, no. 330; Delaporte, 1920, 
pi. 43:8; Amiet, 1966, p. 101, no. 56. 

Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings \ 77 

48 Tablet with impression of a demonic 
creature in a boat 


h. 1V4 in. (4.5 cm); w. 2 5 /s in. (6.7 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 4832 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Impressed on a series of small tablets is an image of 
a demonic felinelike creature in a posture of rev- 
erence or power, kneeling in a high-prowed boat with 
its front legs held together at the chest. In front and 
back of the creature are two pointed forms that could 
be either spears or oars. Under the boat is a large 
fish; to the side is a tall bundle of tied reeds, a shape 
that is a sign in the Proto-Elamite script. The repre- 
sentation of a boat is most unusual among Proto- 
Elamite seals. 

At least five tablets, in addition to this one/ are 
impressed with the same seal. They carry inscrip- 
tions which, although they cannot be read, were cer- 
tainly written by the same hand and all end with the 
same series of signs. 


1. Leon Legrain, "Empreintes de cachets elamites," MDP 16 
(1921), fig. 334; Delaporte, 1920, pi. 40:16. 


49 Account tablet 


H. 4 Vs in. (11.1 cm); w. 6 3 /s in. (16.2 cm) 
Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100-2900 B.C. 
Sb 6333 

Most Proto-Elamite tablets are, like this one, thick 
clay oblongs with sides in a ratio of about 3:2 (in 
this respect resembling the Proto-Cuneiform or 
" Archaic Sumerian" tablets drawn up in southern 
Mesopotamia at about the same time). The Proto- 
Elamite script reads right to left and ordinarily runs 
parallel to the long axis. Groups of numerals are 
conspicuous in almost all the texts; hence the loose 
characterization of these tablets as "accounting" doc- 
uments. Often the text on the obverse consists of a 
series of more or less similar entries, sometimes pre- 
ceded by a general heading, and the text on the re- 
verse consists of a summation with totals of items 
found in the entries on the obverse. When there is 
insufficient space on the obverse for the entries, the 
text may continue on the lower edge and onto the re- 
verse, so that the tablet turns on its long axis, ver- 
tically, like later cuneiform tablets. But when the 
only text on the reverse is a summation, the tablet 
ordinarily turns on the short axis, horizontally, like 
a page in a book. Some tablets bear the impressions 
of cylinder seals or stamp seals; this one does not. 

The text of this document consists of single signs 
and pairs of signs separated by groups of numerals. 
The non-numerical signs are certainly logograms: 
they represent words rather than sounds. Although 
it is not now possible to read the Proto-Elamite 
script — that is, to identify and pronounce the words 
that the signs represent — it is possible to understand 
the structure of the document. 

The broken upper left corner may have contained 
a heading of one or two signs. The obverse continues 
with fourteen parallel entries reading right to left, 
each with this structure: 

a. Variable beginning 

i. One or two items identified with forms of the 
sign $ , distinguished by diacritic inserts or 
adjacent signs, and followed by numerals. 

ii. One or two items identified with forms of the 
sign ^ , distinguished by diacritic inserts or 
additions, and followed by numerals. 

iii. An item identified either with the sign /\ 
followed by numerals, or with the sign ^ 
followed by numerals. 

yS | Protoliterate Susa 

b. Fixed conclusion 

A sequence of nine signs, consisting of four items 
followed by numerals : || 1, ^ 1, ^ 2, ^ 1. 
The boundaries between the entries are plainly 
marked by the fixed conclusion. Its first occurrence is 
at the left end of the first line. 

The text on the reverse is a summation giving 
totals of the items found in the entries on the obverse, 
in the same order in which they appear in the entries: 
first, two forms of ^ , each followed by numerals; 
second, at least four forms of each followed by 
numerals; third, /\ and ^ , the first followed by 
numerals and the second presumably originally fol- 
lowed by numerals as well. Of the totals corresponding 
to the items in the fixed sequence at the end of each 
entry, only the last is fully preserved: £ followed by 
numerals. 1 

The Proto-Elamite texts use several different nu- 
merical systems. One is a sexagesimal system, with 
one sign to represent ones, another sign to represent 
tens, another sign to represent sixties, another sign to 
represent six-hundreds, and so on, thus: 

• ® • 

3,600 600 60 10 1 

Another is a decimal system, with one sign to repre- 
sent ones, another to represent tens, another to repre- 
sent hundreds, another to represent thousands, thus: 

2 • 

1,000 100 10 1 

Another is called a SE system, with one sign to repre- 
sent ones, another to represent sixes, another to repre- 
sent sixties, another to represent 180s, and so on, thus: 

$ v • • D " e£ 

1,800 180 60 6 1 Y 5 Y10 V30 

The sexagesimal and SE systems have close counter- 
parts in Proto-Cuneiform and later Sumerian and Ak- 
kadian documents. The contemporary decimal system 
is special to Proto-Elamite. 

In Mesopotamia the sexagesimal system was used 
to count most objects that can be identified as distinct 
items, e.g., animals, humans, containers, tools; in 
Proto-Elamite texts, to judge by the range of numbers 
and the pictographic character of the signs for the 

items counted, the sexagesimal and decimal systems 
have roughly this range of application. In Mesopo- 
tamia, the SE system (named with the Sumerian word 
se, "barley") was used to count measures of volume, 
especially of grain, and its use in Proto-Elamite seems 
to have been the same. 

The possibility of confusion arises from the fact 
that the sexagesimal and SE systems use the same 
numerical signs, but with different arithmetical 
values. A similar situation would arise if we used, say, 
Roman numerals, but used a base 10 for centimeters, a 
base 12 for inches, a base 16 for fluid ounces, and a base 
32 for avoirdupois measures. On the other hand, it 
is sometimes possible to gain at least a general under- 
standing of Proto-Elamite texts, notwithstanding the 
fact that the script is undeciphered, from the use of 
numerical systems for discrete items, for units of vol- 
ume, and for units of area, and from the size of the 
entries or ratios among them — to articulate, so to 
speak, the surviving arithmetic bones that carried the 
lost semantic flesh. 2 

Most of the items in this document are counted 
with the decimal and sexagesimal systems, since units 
occur in groups of six to nine and since the higher- 
order digit occurs once in a group of eight. Thus: 
[ $ (n X 10)] + 7, obverse line 2, and ^ (8 X 10) 
+ 9, reverse line 1; f\ 10 + 6, obverse, line 5; 
^ 8, reverse line 2. The final total makes sense as 
^ 10 + 4, i.e., 14 entries withi £ each, but not 
as SE-system 6 + 4 = 10. A distinctive feature of the 
entries is the fact that the item ^ is counted in units 
up to 16 in sexagesimal or decimal notation, but its 
alternative, ^ , is counted only with fractions in the ■ 
SE system: (2 X Y 5 ) + Y*> + Y30, obverse line 1 ; (3 X 
Y 5 ), obverse line 2; vio + (2 X Y30) and again (2 X Y 3 o\ 
obverse line 3; yio + (2 X Y30), obverse line 4 and 
again line 9. 

Various contexts have led analysts of these texts to 
make the plausible conjectures that signs of the class 
7^ indicate herded animals (more likely goats than 
sheep or bovines), that signs of the class ^ indicate 
milk products, and that the sign ^ indicates a grain 
product. ^ 


Proto-Elamite Seals and Sealings | 79 


8o | Protoliterate Susa 

1. The text was published by Vincent Scheil, Textes de comp- 
tabilite proto-elamites (Nouvelle Serie), MDP 17 (Paris, 
1923), no. 97. Meriggi (1974, p. 115 H p 9) presents the text 
in an analytical transcription that displays its structure. An- 
other Proto-Elamite tablet from Susa has identically struc- 
tured entries and an identical overall structure (Scheil, op. cit., 
no. 85; see Meriggi, 1974, p. 116 H p 20). 

2. For a lucid summary of these and the other Protp-Elamite nu- 
merical systems, see Damerow and Englund, 1989, pp. 22-27. 
The evidence for these systems, their reconstruction, and their 
implications for the interpretation of the texts are expounded 
by Joran Friberg, 'A Method for the Decipherment, through 
Mathematical and Metrological Analysis, of Proto-Sumerian 
and Proto-Elamite Semi-Pictographic Inscriptions/ 7 The Third 
Millennium Roots of Babylonian Mathematics, vol. 1 
(Goteborg, Sweden, 1978). 

3. Damerow and Englund, 1989, pp. 51-55; Meriggi, 1971, 
pp. 59-60. 

I he end of the Susa III period was coincident with 
the disappearance of the Proto-Elamite sites from the southeastern highlands. Between 2700 and 
2500 B.C., Susian material culture showed a strong relation to that of peoples living along the foothill 
road and in the mountain valleys of Luristan, to the northwest. The similarities suggest that 
there were political connections between Susians and the highlanders, perhaps forged in response 
to the threat posed by the militaristic Mesopotamian city-states of the Early Dynastic period 
(ca. 2700-2400 B.C.). 

Susa lost its independence when it was conquered by the rulers of Akkad sometime between 2400 
and 2200 B.C. The political change brought on an almost wholesale borrowing of Mesopotamian 
styles of art and manufacture and the adoption of the Old Akkadian writing and administrative 
systems. Susa became a transshipment point for commodities and troops along the foothill road that 
ran northwest to southeast, linking the southeastern Zagros Mountains with central Mesopotamia. 
The city was probably a staging point for expeditions farther to the east and a rear position where 
troops could wait out the winter season. 

The material culture of Susiana in the late third millennium was predominantly Mesopotamian. 
However, local resistance is sometimes discernible in historical records of the period. Not sur- 
prisingly, it was when imperial rule over Susa was waning — first at the end of the Akkadian empire 
(ca. 2200 B.C.) and again near the end of the Ur III empire (ca. 2000 B.C.) — that powerful rulers of 
the Zagros regions tried to establish their independence. These revolts were centered not in Susa but 
in the highlands of Iran, and Susa was a prize to be won back from its Mesopotamian overlords. 

After the collapse of the Akkadian empire, Susa was conquered by Puzur-Inshushinak, a king of 
Awan* and a contemporary of Ur-Nammu (ca. 2112-2095 B - c -)^ the first ruler of the Ur III empire in 
Mesopotamia. Shortly thereafter Susa was conquered and incorporated into the Ur III empire in the 
reign of Shulgi, the second king of the dynasty. However, it was won back by another group of 
mountaineers around 2000 B.C.: Shimashkian kings, whose home territory was located in the 
mountain valleys of Luristan northwest of Susiana and who held the city for several generations. 

The Shimashki reign was short-lived and was replaced by the dynasty of the sukkalmahs. The 
name sukkalmah (or "grand regent") comes from the distinctive title used by Elamite rulers of the 
period. 2 Although the home territory of this dynasty was probably Anshan, some 320 miles to the 


82 The Old Elamite Period 

southeast in the Zagros Mountains, by 1900 B.C. the sukkalmahs had gained control of Susa. Their 
political acumen is evident in their scheme of shared kingship, effectively designed to unite the 
highlands and lowlands. 3 Kingship in Elam became a family affair consisting of a senior ruler, the 
sukkalmah; a senior co-regent, called the sukkal, or regent, of Elam and Shimashki, often a brother 
of the sukkalmah; and a junior co-regent, commonly called the sukkal of Susa, sometimes a son of 
the sukkalmah. This tight-knit hierarchy provided a unique system of governance quite unlike the 
monarchies of contemporary Mesopotamian states. 

The economic strength of the Sukkalmah dynasty was based on control of the highlands, 
combined with the successful agricultural exploitation of both Susiana and the Kur River basin 
around Anshan by means of irrigation technology and administrative systems learned from 
Mesopotamian former rulers. Susa expanded, and early in the second millennium became a city of 
ten to twenty thousand people. New towns and villages appeared all over the plain and in the 
surrounding upland valleys. At this time Susa flourished as an independent regional capital and an 
international city active in Near Eastern politics, a locus of cultural and commercial interchange 
between the mountain folk of the Zagros and the inhabitants of the Mesopotamian plain. 


1. A list of kings, found at Susa and dating from sometime between 1800 and 1600 B.C. , records twelve kings of Awan followed by twelve kings 
of Shimashki; Puzur-Inshushinak is listed as the last king of Awan. See Number 181 and Stolper, 1984, pp. 12-23. The location of Awan is 
unknown. On Awan and Shimashki, see Piotr Steinkeller, "On the Identity of the Toponym LU,SU(-A)," jAOS 108, no. 2 (1988), pp. 
197-202. For a recent summary of the history see Piotr Michalowski, The Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur (Winona 
Lake, Ind., 1989), pp. 1-3. 

2. They had borrowed it from the Ur III imperial official (sukkalmah) who administered the eastern portions of the empire, including Susa. 

3. [For a recent discussion of sukkalmah rule, see Vallat, 1990. — Ed.] 

Early -Third- Millennium Sculpture \ 83 

Early-Third-Millennium Sculpture 

50 Worshiper 


H. 5 7 /s in. (14,8 cm); w. 2% in. (5.7 cm); D. i 5 /s in. 
(4 cm) 

Ca. 2900-2334 B.C. 

Acropole, 2nd level (temple site); Sb yy 

The worshiper 1 is beardless and wears a long tiered 
garment, the uppermost layer of which forms a short 
mantle covering the left arm and shoulder while 
leaving the right side bare. The hands of this stand- 
ing figure are clasped to the chest in a gesture of 
prayer. A circular depression on the left breast indi- 
cates a nipple. The figure's legs are summarily 

carved in relief onto the base of the statue. Facial 
features are geometrically rendered, the mouth and 
chin in triangles, the eyes and eyebrows in arcs. The 
shoulder-length hair is stylized into a geometric pat- 
tern that from behind appears as rows of carefully 
arranged cubes carved in relief and from the sides as 
incised lozenges. This design was perhaps intended 
to represent a braided hairstyle. The sex of the wor- 
shiper is not readily apparent. In Mesopotamia the 
tiered costume covering one shoulder was worn by 
women in general and also by male rulers. Many 
male rulers were bearded, but clean-shaven male 
worshipers are also known. Nor is braided hair spe- 
cific to one sex. An identification of the worshiper as 
male can be made only on the basis of the exposed 

Side view 

84 I The Old Elamite Period 

breast, a feature that is highly unusual, although not 
unknown, among statues of Mesopotamian female 
worshipers. 2 

Votive statues in an attitude of prayer originated 
in Mesopotamia, where they first appeared at the 
beginning of the third millennium B.C. They were 
placed in temples to represent the donor in perpetual 
prayer before the gods. While this worshiper is de- 
rivative of Mesopotamian votive statues, its geomet- 
ric stylization, aptly characterized as "cubist" by 
Pierre Amiet, 3 is a purely local aesthetic preference. 


1. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 45, fig. 9; Pottier, 1912, pi. 40:7-8; Le 
Breton, 1957, p. 121, fig. 44:5; and see n. 3. 

2. See Eva Braun-Holzinger, Friihdynastische Beterstatuetten 
(Berlin, 1977), pi. 2 a.b, no. 250. 

3. Amiet, 1966, fig. 132; idem, 1988b, p. 62. 

51 Plaque with banquet and animal combat 


H. 6 3 / 4 in. (17 cm); w. 6% in. (16 cm) 

Ca. 2750-2600 B.C. 

Acropole, temple of Nitthursag; Sb 41 

Excavated by Morgan and Mecquenem, 1908. 

This plaque with a central perforation is divided into 
two equal registers, each having a scene carved in 
low relief. 1 The upper register depicts a banquet. At 
the right an enthroned, bare-chested male figure 
wearing a tiered skirt holds a cup in his right hand. 
Before him stands a nude male attendant clasping 
his hands to his chest. Behind the attendant is a 
male figure kneeling on one leg and facing to the 
left, where an enthroned female figure in a long 
gown faces him, holding a musical instrument. Al- 
though the instrument is identifiable as a harp, it is 
being held in an uncommon position. In ancient 
Near Eastern representations, the harp is usually 
played with the sound box placed against the musi- 
cian and the strings away from the player. In this 
case the musician holds the harp with the strings 
next to her body. 2 In the lower register a nude hero 
appears, facing left. He has a beard(?) and long hair 
that falls to just above the shoulders, and he is aim- 
ing his dagger at a lion attacking a kneeling bull. 

This object belongs to the category of perforated 
wall plaques of Mesopotamian origin that, it has 
been determined, were set vertically into the wall 

next to door jambs and had an association with the 
fastening of doors. A peg, either circular or square 
in section, inserted into a central hole secured a rope 
attached to the door. 3 

Stone figurative plaques with central holes are 
first documented in Mesopotamia in the Early Dy- 
nastic period. They are incised, carved in relief, or at 
times even inlaid with mother-of-pearl and shell. 
The subject of a banquet scene is common on Meso- 
potamian plaques. While the combination of a ban- 
quet with a hero and an animal combat in the lower 
register is not common,^ combat scenes are fre- 
quently found on Mesopotamian seals of the Early 
Dynastic period, sometimes also in combination 
with banquet scenes. This particular theme, a nude 
hero aiming a dagger at a lion attacking a kneeling 
bull from the front, is paralleled on seals of the 
Early Dynastic I/II period (2900-2600 B.C.). An in- 
cised wall plaque of the same date from Nippur in 
southern Mesopotamia also depicts a lion attacking a 
kneeling bull from the fronts 

The carving is local in style and is unlike the 
majority of Mesopotamian works of art in that the 
figures are more schematically rendered and for the 
most part lack interior details. Furthermore, the 
sculptor had some difficulty in accommodating the 
perforation, since the central figures in the upper 
register appear precariously balanced on the curved 

Early-Third-Millennium Sculpture | 85 

surface. His inability to fit the perforation into the 
pictorial space suggests that the sculptor was unused 
to working in this format. Mesopotamian sculptors 
usually integrated the scene with the central hole by 
leaving an uncarved square or rectangular space 
around the hole and arranging the subject matter 
into square or rectangular fields. 


1. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 47, fig. 12; Potties 1912, pi. 40:9; Le 
Breton, 1957, p. 121, fig. 45:10; Boese, 1971, pi. 24, no. s8, 
pp. 47-50. 

2. I thank J. Kenneth Moore for this observation. A similar 
method of playing the harp can be seen in a fragment of a re- 
lief of Gudea (ca. 2100) from Telloh in southern Sumer; see 
Amiet, 1980a, fig. 392. 

3. See Donald P Hansen, "New Votive Plaques from Nippur," 
]NES 22 (1963), pp. 145-66, especially pp. 147-53. For a later 
version of a wall plaque, see Number 142. 

4. Cf. the plaque from the Shara temple in Tell Agrab; Frank- 
fort, 1943, pi. 63, fig. 314. 

5. From the Inanna Temple, level VIII; Hansen, "New Votive 
Plaques," p. 156, pi. 3. 

52 Plaque with male figures, serpents, and 

Bitumen compound 

H. 9 7 /s in. (25 cm); w. 8V2 in. (21.5 cm); D. in. 
(8.5 cm) 

Ca. 2600-2500 B.C. 

Acropole, temple of Ninhursag; Sb 2J24 

The plaque is carved in relief with one scene that 
takes up the entire picture field. 1 Two beardless, 
long-haired, nude male figures, their heads in profile 
and their bodies in three-quarter view, face the cen- 
ter of the composition. The heads are relatively 
large, as are the eyes and noses, and the long hair is 
represented by zigzag patterns. Each figure holds an 
arm to his chest and raises the other arm to the up- 
per center, where two intertwined serpents with their 
tails in their mouths appear above the upraised 
hands. At the base of the plaque, between the feet of 
the two figures, a small calf or lamb strides to the 
right. An irregular oblong cavity or break was made 
in the center of the scene at a later date. 2 


86 | The Old Elamite Period 

The figures' nudity can be interpreted as the in- 
dication of a ritual activity, an iconographic feature 
that occurred in Mesopotamia as early as the Uruk 
period (ca. 3500-3100 B.C.). The intertwined ser- 
pents and the calf or lamb also have religious asso- 
ciations. The serpent motif is usually associated with 
fertility and lambs and calves were used as sacrificial 
offerings in the ancient Near East. 

The dating of this plaque to the mid-third mil- 
lennium B.C. is made on the basis of the treatment 
of the two main figures. The same proportion of 
head to body and the same profile with large droop- 
ing nose and large eyes can be seen on relief vases of 
chlorite of that date, which originated in eastern 
Iran but were exported throughout the ancient Near 
East.3 ZB 

1. Amiet, 1988b, fig. 29; idem, 1966, fig. 124; idem, 1986a, fig. 
65; Pottier, 1912, pi. 37:8; Le Breton, 1957, p. 121, fig. 43:9; 
Boese, 1971, pi. 24:3, pp. 50, 194. 

2. Amiet (1966, p. 173) suggests that this was for the pouring of 

3. See, e.g., Amiet, 1980a, p. 361, fig. 269; this cylindrical 
carved chlorite vase from Khafajeh in Mesopotamia has a rep- 
resentation of bare-chested heroes in net skirts subduing ani- 
mals. One of the heroes grasps a serpent in each hand. 

53 Statue of Eshpum 

Alabaster; shell and bitumen inlay 
Inscribed in Akkadian 

h. 12V4 in. (31 cm); w. gV 4 in. (23.5 cm); d. 5V5 in. 
(13 cm) 

3rd millennium B.C. 

Excavated by Morgan. 

An eight-line inscription in Akkadian carved on the 
back of this statue 1 identifies it as a votive offering 
of Eshpum, governor of Elam during the reign of 
Manishtushu, king of the Akkadian empire 
(2269-2255 B.C.). The offering is made to Narundi, 
an Elamite goddess associated with the Meso- 
potamian Inanna/Ishtar. z The inscription reads: 







d Na-ru-ti 



of Kish 


his servant 


donated 3 


Back view 

The Monuments of Puzur-Inshushinak \ 87 

Despite the secure date of the inscription, some 
scholars assume that the inscription is a later ad- 
dition and have assigned the statue to the Early 
Dynastic I/II period (2900-2600 B.C.) on stylistic 
grounds. 4 The long-waisted nude torso, broad shoul- 
ders, and arms carved partially in the round are 
typical of the sculpture of that period, as is the 
treatment of the spine as a sharp, deep incision. The 
bottom part of the figure is broken off, but the re- 
mains of a skirt tied directly above the hips are still 
visible. The hair, combed backward and bluntly cut 
at ear level, is indicated by incised zigzag parallel 
lines. The zigzag pattern is also used to portray the 
wavy hair of the long, squared-off beard. An inlay 
of shell set into bitumen remains in the right eye. 
The shell has been carved to receive yet another in- 
lay, perhaps of lapis lazuli, for the iris. The mouth is 
small and thin-lipped, and the upper lips and cheeks 
are clean-shaven. The nose has been destroyed, as 
have the arms, for the most part; but from what re- 

mains of the forearms at waist level, it is clear that 
the figure represented a worshiper with hands 
clasped to the chest. 

There is no direct parallel among Early Dynastic 
I/II Mesopotamian worshiper figures for the short 
hairstyle and the beard that covers only the lower 
chin. Nevertheless, Eshpum's statue is probably a 
locally made work derivative of Mesopotamian 
worshipers of that period, and it was probably al- 
ready an antiquity when Eshpum had it inscribed 
and dedicated it to his goddess, Narundi. 


1. Morgan, 1907, p. 398; V Scheil, MDP 10 (1908), p. 1; Eva 
Strommenger, "Statueninschriften und ihr Datierungswert," 
ZA n.f. 19 (1959), pp. 30-36; Spycket, 1981, p. 73 n. 149. 

2. See Number 55, the statue of this goddess excavated at Susa. 

3. I. J. Gelb and B. Kienast, Die Altakkadischen Konigsin- 
schriften des dritten jahrtausend v. Chr. (Stuttgart, 1990), 
p. 80. 

4. Strommenger, "Statueninschriften/' pp. 30-36; Spycket, 
1981, p. 73 n. 149. 

The Monuments of Puzur-Inshushinak 

Puzur-Inshushinak was the first Susian king to leave 
us large-scale statuary and a number of monuments. 1 
The precise dates of his reign were unknown until the 
discovery in 1984 of a tablet 2 at the site of Isin in 
Mesopotamia which established a synchronism be- 
tween Puzur-Inshushinak and Ur-Nammu, the first 
king of the Third Dynasty of Ur, who reigned from 
about 2112 to 2095 B.C. Puzur-Inshushinak, the last 
name listed as a "king of Awan" on the Susa king list 
(No. 181), was also probably a contemporary of the 
Sumerian prince Gudea of Lagash (ca. 2100 B.C.). 3 
These parallels explain the powerful influence of 
'Neo-Sumerian"-period Mesopotamia on the style 
and the iconography of Susian artists during Puzur- 
Inshushinak's reign. 

A conqueror and a builder, Puzur-Inshushinak had 
many monuments erected on the Acropole of Susa. 
Most of them bear bilingual inscriptions: in Akka- 
dian, the spoken language of Susa, transcribed in 
cuneiform writing; and in Elamite, the spoken lan- 
guage of the highlands, transcribed in a linear writing 
that we still have difficulty deciphering. 

The king patronized a stone-sculpture workshop 
that produced at least one large statue of him seated 
and also three inscribed statuettes. On the basis of 

stylistic similarities, some uninscribed monuments 
(one large statue and some alabaster statuettes) can be 
dated to his reign. 

Several stone monuments must have come from 
the temples on the Acropole of Susa; these include 
a large statue representing the goddess Narundi/ 
Narunte (No. 55), two foundation stones probably 
from the Inshushinak temple (No. 54), and a table 
adorned with a lion's head (Sb 17), which bears a 
dedication to Inshushinak and mentions yet another 
dedication, of either a nail or a stake of copper and 
cedar. A pair of recumbent lions probably guarded the 
entrance to one of the temples. A basin with an in- 
scription written in linear Elamite (Sb 140B) was used 
for ceremonial cleansing. 

The temples themselves were destroyed by time 
and weather and also by the first excavations at the site. 
Among the few surviving artifacts are seventeen steps 
from a stone stairway; 4 thirteen steps have Akkadian 
inscriptions and four have linear Elamite inscriptions. 
They bear a dedication to the patron god of Susa, 
which leads us to believe that they came from the 
Inshushinak temple. We also know of two door 
sockets, as well as terracotta foundation nails, that 
adorned the temple of the god Shugu. 

88 | The Old Elamite Period 

Finally, an Akkadian inscription informs us that 
the king erected his statue before the temple of In 
shushinak and dedicated to the god a copper and cedar 
stake (see No. 54) as well as a sword and a gold and 
silver axe. 


1. For the Puzur-Inshushinak monuments see Amiet, 1966, 
pp. 223-29; Boehmer, 1966 (on p. 350, a bibliography of 
monuments with Akkadian inscriptions); Hinz, 1969, 

pp. 11-44; Sollberger and Kupper, 1971, pp. 124-28; Amiet, 
1976b (catalogue of monuments of Puzur-Inshushinak). 

2. See Wilcke, 1987, p. 110. 

3. Steinkeller, 1988, pp. 52-53. 

4. Andre and Salvini, 1989, pp. 60-69. 

54 Votive boulder of Puzur-Inshushinak 

Inscribed in linear Elamite 

Limestone, traces of bitumen 

H. 22V4 in. (56.5 cm); w. i^/s in. (39 cm); D. 2^/s 

(62.5 cm); hole, diam. y/s in. (10 cm) 

Ca. 2100 B.C. 

Acropole; Sb 6 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Approximate reconstructed dimensions of the 
boulder: h. 2^/s in. (65 cm); a at least jiV 2 in. 
(80 cm) 

The Monuments of Puzur-lnshushinak \ 89 

The monument 1 is fragmentary. At the top there is a 
large serpent coiled around a vertical hole, which 
must have been in the center of the block. On the 
front a god is depicted in a half-kneeling posture, 
driving in a nail. Similar representations of deities, 
figurines placed in the temples as foundation de- 
posits, are known from the same period in Meso- 
potamia. Their function was to protect the buildings 
by the magical act of driving a stake into the ground 
and thereby taking possession of the terrain. A sup- 
pliant goddess of Sumerian type stands behind the 

On the other side of the stone, a large guardian 
lion with gaping jaws was carved. Only the nose and 
a claw remain on this fragment, but we can recon- 
struct the lion on the left side of this stone if we at- 
tribute to the same monument the fragmentary 
relief (Sb 177) 2 representing the hindquarters of a 
lion and bearing an Akkadian inscription (see fig. 
31). The lion is crouching in a waiting position, 
ready to strike out with one paw. Its body is twisted 
around the edge of the monument. The shoulders, 
chest, and part of the front paws are missing. 

Traces of bitumen on the lower parts of the two 
fragments show the level at which the boulder was 
inserted into a base or the ground. The stone was 
ovoid in shape. The diameter of the hole is almost 
the same as that of another stone found on the 
Acropole, also carved with a snake and a linear 
Elamite inscription (fig. 32)^ which may have be- 
longed to the same group of cult objects. 

The boulder bears several inscriptions. On the 

Figure 31. Reconstruction showing joining of lion fragment (Sb 177) 
to larger stone of votive boulder. Fragments: Acropole mound, Susa, 
reign of Puzur-lnshushinak, ca. 2100 B.C. Limestone, h. 25^/8 in. 
(65 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, Sb 6 and Sb 177 

Figure 32. Fragment with snake and inscription. Acropole 
mound, Susa, reign of Puzur-lnshushinak, ca. 2100 B.C. 
Limestone, H. 20 3 /s in. (51.9 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, 
Sb 6733 

upper front part of Sb 6 is a three-line inscription in 
linear Elamite. It has not been deciphered com- 
pletely, but since it begins with the name of the god 
Inshushinak^ we know that it reads from left to 
right. Behind the goddess are traces of another in- 
scription, which may be the vertical continuation of 
the first inscription. The added piece, Sb 177, pro- 
vides us with the end of an Akkadian text, which is 
a curse. 

The inscription, then, was bilingual. However, 
the curse probably was not reproduced in Elamite. 4 
Indeed, the number of linear signs compatible with a 
syllabic reading would have made it impossible to 
reproduce such a long text. 

The word "cedar" in the inscription on the lion 
might provide us with a clue to the meaning of the 
text that would correspond to the purpose of the 
boulder. Akkadian inscriptions on two other monu- 
ments state that Puzur-lnshushinak dedicated "a 
copper and cedar nail. "5 It is conceivable, then, that 
a cedar stake capped in copper was driven through 
the hole in the center of the boulder, thereby fixing 
the temple to the ground. This ritual would have 

90 I The Old Elamite Period 

been enacted under the protection of the figures rep- 
resented on the boulder, and of the gods named in 
the inscription — specifically Inshushinak and Ner- 
gal, the only gods whose names have survived in the 
Akkadian inscription. 

B A-S 

1. See, for Sb 6: Scheil, 1905, pi. 2, 2; Frank, 1912, pp. 32-34; 
idem, 1923, pp. 7-8; Mecquenem, 1949, pp 9-10, fig. 4; 
Hinz, 1962, pp. 10-11 (text B); Amiet, 1966, pp. 224-25, no. 
165; Hinz, 1969, p. 30, pi. 8; Meriggi, 1971, p. 186, para. 
486; Amiet, 1976b, pp. 37, 129, no. 32 (provides the earlier 
bibliography). For Sb 177: Scheil, 1900, p. 66; Amiet, 1976b, 
pp. 37, 132, no. 62. For Sb 6 and Sb 177: Andre and Salvini, 
1989, pp. 54-58, pis. 1-3. 

2. Of limestone with traces of bitumen at the base; h. i5 3 /i in. 
(40 cm), w. 243/4 in. (63 cm); excavated by Morgan. 

3. Vincent Scheil, MDP 10 (1908), pi. 4. 

4. This is the case on another bilingual monument of Puzur- 
Inshushinak, Sb 17: Scheil, 1905, pi. 2. 

5. Stele Sb 160: Sollberger and Kupper, 1971, pp. 126-27, HG2f. 
See also the table with a lion's head, Sb 17: ibid., p. 124, 

55 Statue of the goddess Narundi/Narunte 

Inscribed in cuneiform Akkadian and linear Elamite 

H. 42 7 /s in. (109 cm); w. 18V2 in. (47 cm); D. in. 

(45 cm) 

Ca. 2100 B.C. 

Sb 54, the body, found in the temple located south of 
the Ninhursag temples; excavated by Morgan, 1907. 
Sb 66ij t the head, found in 1904. The statue, broken 
in antiquity, was reassembled in 1968. 

This cult statue 1 was dedicated by Puzur-Inshushinak 
in a temple on the Acropole of Susa. It is executed in 
Mesopotamian style. The Susian goddess is depicted 
with the characteristic features of the great Meso- 
potamian goddess Inanna/Ishtar and is associated 
with lions, Ishtar's animal attribute. She wears the 
distinctive clothing of deities: a flounced garment of 
lambswool and a headdress with horns over the hair, 
which is gathered in a chignon at the nape of the 

The face, which is crudely carved, was originally 
plated (probably with gold), as rivet holes attest. The 
eyes must have had shell and lapis lazuli inlays that 
were embedded in bitumen. The goddess holds a 
goblet and a palm leaf against her chest. 

The backless throne has six lions sculpted in bas- 
relief. Two sit on either side of the throne; on the 

back, two others hold staffs and stand in the human 
posture of the hero-guardians at the entrance to 
the temple; and finally, on the front base, under the 
bare feet of the goddess, two recumbent lions flank 
a flower. 

The throne bears a dual inscription written in 
cuneiform Akkadian and linear Elamite. Little re- 
mains of the inscription in Akkadian along the left 
edge other than the name of the dedicator, "Puzur- 
Inshushinak, prince [or governor] of Susa/' The title 
indicates that the statue was dedicated by Puzur- 
Inshushinak before he became king. The Elamite in- 
scription, on the right edge of the throne, gives the 
name of the goddess, probably Narundi or Narunte. 

B A-S 

1. See Mecquenem, 1905a, p. 125, fig. 448; Scheil, 1913, 
pp. 17-19, pis. 3-4; Frank, 1912, pp. 48-50; idem, 1923, 
pp. 14-15; Mecquenem, 1949, p. 15, fig. 12; Hinz, 1962, 
pp. 15-16; Amiet, 1966, p. 227, no. 166; Hinz, 1969, 
pp. 38-39; Spycket, 1968, pp. 67-73; Meriggi, 1971, pt. Ia, 
pi. 3, "\ f " and paras. 499-502, pp. 190-91; Amiet, 1976b, 
pp. 38-39, 129-30, no. 36; Spycket, 1981, pp. 144-46, 
pi. 96. 

55, back view 


92 I The Old Elamite Period 

Objects of the Late Third and Early Second Millennium 

56 Hammer dedicated by Shulgi 

Inscribed in Sumerian 

H. 4 7 /s in. (12. 3 cm); L. qVs in. (11 cm) 
Third Dynasty of Ur f reign of King Shulgi 

(2094-204.7 B.C. J 

Sb 5634 

Found in a ribbed sarcophagus, chantier no. 1, 
Ville Koyale. 

This ceremonial weapon or standard top 1 is a cast 
bronze shaft-hole hammer with two bird's heads 
emerging from the top and three plumelike exten- 
sions at the back ending in curls. 2 The hammer 
bears a cuneiform inscription in Sumerian identify- 
ing it as a dedication by the Mesopotamian ruler 
Shulgi: "The divine Shulgi, the mighty hero . . . 
king of Ur, king of Sumer and Akkad."3 Shulgi con- 
trolled part of Elam during his reign (2094-2047 
B.C.) and was responsible for the construction of sev- 
eral buildings at Susa.4 The weapon is of a type 
closely related to votive axes or tops of standards 

from eastern Iran and Bronze Age Bactria in western 
Central Asia.^ The long plumes on the bird's heads 
suggest that they may belong to supernatural birds, 
probably double-headed bird-demons — a type of 
fantastic animal that may have had its origins in 
eastern Iran. 6 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 176; R. de Mecquenem, "Tetes de Cannes 
susiennes en metal/' RA 47 (1953), pp. 79ft./ fig- 4 a, b; Por- 
ada, 1962, p. 54; idem, 1975, pi. 301b, p. 388; J. Deshayes, 

"Marteaux de bronze Iraniens/' Syria 35 (1958), p. 287, fig. 3. 
Compare Peter Calmeyer, Datierbare Bronzen aus Luristan 
und Kirmanshah (Berlin, 1969), Abb. 38, 39, where the 
provenience is given as Nihavand, but without a clear reason 
for the attribution. 

2. For an analysis of the metal: Tallon, 1987, vol. 2, no. 195, 
p. 29. 

3. After Mecquenem, "Tetes de Cannes/' p. 82. 

4. Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 16, 68 n. 90. 

3. For votive weapons from that region, see Pittman, 1984, 
pp. 65ft. Two very similar hammers were bought in Iran early 
in this century by E. Herzfeld. Unfortunately, the exact find- 
spot of these weapons is unknown. 

6. See E. Porada, "Comments on Style and Iconography/' in Pitt- 
man, 1984, p. 92. 

Late-Third- Millennium Objects | 93 

57 Votive mace with mastiff heads 

Orange alabaster 

H. 2 3 / 4 in. (j cm)} L. 2V2 in. (6.5 cm) 
Ca. 2100-1900 B.C. 
Sb 2831 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1908. 

This ceremonial or votive mace 1 is carved in relief 
with three frontal animal heads. A hole running 
vertically through the center of the object would 
have enabled it to be placed on a staff or handle. The 
animals can be identified as mastiffs rather than li- 
ons, since they have wrinkled skin above the brows, 
long ears, and drooping jowls, and lack the mane 
usually depicted on lions. The mastiff, used as a 
hunting dog in the ancient Near East, is well known 
from numerous representations in Mesopotamian 
art. 2 

Stone votive maces decorated with animal pro- 
tomes are known in Mesopotamia as early as the 

Jemdet Nasr period (3100-2900 B.C.), Maces carved 
in the round with frontal lion's heads that were exca- 
vated at the Shara temple, Tell Agrab, and at Telloh 
in Mesopotamia date to the second half of the third 
millennium B.C. 3 However, no direct parallel exists 
for this unique object and little is known about its 
archaeological context; therefore its date, usually 
given as 2000 B.C., must remain a conjecture. 


1. Amiet, 1966, fig. 180. 

2. See, for example, Marie-Therese Barrelet, Figurines et reliefs 
en terre cuite de la Mesopotamie antique (Paris, 1968), 

no. 835; R. D. Barnett, Assyrian Palace Reliefs (London, 
i960), no. 103. 

3. For the Tell Agrab example, see Pinhas Delougaz and Seton 
Lloyd, Pre-Sargonid Temples in the Diyala Region, OIP 58 
(Chicago, 1942), p. 238, fig. 185; for the mace head from 
Telloh inscribed with a dedication of Gudea of Lagash 

(ca. 2100 B.C.), see Andre Parrot, Tello: vingt campagnes 
de fouilles (1877-193}) (Paris, 1948), pi. 42b. 


94 I The Old Elamite Period 

5& Elamite god 

Copper and gold 

H. 6 7 A in. (iy.5 cm); w. iVs in. (5.5 cm) 
Ca. 2000 B.C. 
Sb 2823 

Probably excavated by Morgan. 

The figure, identified as a god by his horned head- 
dress, wears a Mesopotamian long flounced garment 
that covers his left arm and shoulder, but leaves his 
right side exposed. 1 His right hand appears as a fist 
placed against his chest; his left arm, bent at the el- 
bow, is extended forward. The left hand, overlaid 
with gold, is also in the form of a fist. The god's fa- 
cial features are rendered with bold outlines. His 
heavy-lidded eyes are large and almond shaped; his 
nose is large and wide; and his lips, surmounted by 
a handlebar mustache, are curved upward into a 
smile. His beard, extending to the middle of his 
chest, is made up of straight flat ribs that terminate 
in curls, and his long hair is pulled back into a chi- 
gnon at the base of the neck and tied by a fillet that 
also stretches across his forehead. The god's head- 
dress is composed of a three-tiered horned crown. 
The lowest pair of horns is cast in the round; the 
rest are represented in relief. A grooved channel 
running along the left side of the statuette indicates 
that the entire object was overlaid with a precious 
metal. The exposed parts of the god's body — the 
face, chest, arms, and feet — were probably once all 
covered with gold leaf, as the left hand is. 

While the figure's costume and headdress are 
purely Mesopotamian in appearance, the technique 
of overlaying copper or bronze with precious metals 
is not well documented in that area. The stylization 
of the facial features, especially the smile, has no 
parallel in Mesopotamian works of art. 

The headdress, in which the lowest pair of horns 
is much larger than the uppermost pair, is of a dis- 
tinctive type seen toward the end of the third mil- 
lennium B.C., and most closely resembles horned 
headgear of the Ur III period. 2 Therefore, a date just 
before the fall of the Ur III dynasty in 2004 B.C., 
when Susa was still under Mesopotamian control, 
seems most appropriate for this Elamite statue. 


1. Amiet, 1988b, fig. 42; idem, 1966, fig. 234; Tallon, 1987, 
vol. i, pp. 310, 351, vol. 2, p. 344, no. 1337; Rutten, 1935-36, 
vol. 1, p. 263-A; Braun-Holzinger, 1984, pi. 46, no. 211. 

2. See, for example, the crown worn by Nannar on the stele of 
Ur-Nammu in Amiet, 1980a, fig. 404. 

Late -Third- Millennium Objects | 95 

59 Statuette of a female 


H. 3 3 / 4 in. (9.4 craj; w. i 5 /s (4 cm) 
Beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2746 
Excavated by Morgan, 1899-1902. 

The figure, her hands clasped against her chest, 
wears a floor-length fringed shawl that extends 
obliquely from under her right arm up over her left 
shoulder, drapes over her right shoulder, concealing 
it, and then hangs down over the right side of her 
body. 1 Visible on her left shoulder is the checkered 
pattern of the garment beneath. She is adorned with 
multiple bracelets and necklaces. The statuette con- 
sisted of several separately made parts, perhaps in a 

variety of materials. The mortise still exists that 
once held the head (now lost); there are concave 
marks of a necklace counterweight that ran all the 
way down the back of the statuette; and notches 
above the elbows indicate that the figure was adorned 
with arm-rings. 

Francois Poplin's recent analysis has revealed that 
the statuette is made not of ivory as was long 
thought to be the case, but of shell (see Technical 
Appendix, pp. 279-80). Based on stylistic charac- 
teristics, the piece can be dated to the beginning of 
the second millennium B.C. 2 


1. MDP 7 (1905), p. 26, pi. 4; Amiet, 1966, no. 217; Spycket, 
1981, p. 211, no. 136. 

2. Amiet, 1966, no. 217; Spycket, 1981, p. 211, no. 136. 

Back view 

96 I The Old Elamite Period 

60 Necklace 

Agate and gold 

l. ca. ioVs in. (27 cm) 

Beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. 

Sb $yoo 

The tombs of Susa contemporary with the Shim- 
ashkian dynasty yielded numerous jewels that be- 
speak an exceptional prosperity and material and 
cultural exchange with neighboring regions. 1 The 
dead, generally buried in tub-shaped terracotta sar- 
cophagi, were adorned with bracelets, rings, earrings 
of gold and silver, gold headbands over the forehead, 
skullcaps and breast-covers of silver, and necklaces 
with beads of gold, agate, carnelian, and lapis lazuli. 

The ornament shown here, apparently incom- 
plete, consists of twelve agate beads — ten round ones 
of diminishing size and two cylindrical ones — and 
six gold beads, all made with the same alloy contain- 
ing approximately thirteen percent silver and one 
percent copper. 2 Five of these, basically round like 
the agate beads, are ribbed lengthwise; their two 
ends are flattened into disks, pierced to allow the 
thread to pass through. This type of bead was much 
used in Mesopotamia, Syria, and Susa during the 
first half of the second millennium. 

In the center of the 'necklace is an elongated 
spindle-shaped bead, square in section, with en- 
larged disklike ends. Each of the four facets is deco- 
rated with three rows of stamped dots in imitation of 
filigree or granulation. A similar gold bead bearing 

analogous decoration was found at Larsa in a trea- 
sure that can be dated to about 1738 B.C. 3 These 
elongated beads were intended to decorate the mid- 
dle of a necklace, as was very much the fashion 
during that period (this is evident on the statues of 
Eshnunna, Nos. 111 and 112). The origin of this 
custom dates back to the beginning of the Akkadian 
period (ca. 2334 B.C.); around that time, the larger 
central bead was often decorated with gold caps. At 
first these were without ornament, but during the 
Third Dynasty of Ur and at the beginning of the 
second millennium, some caps were decorated with 
filigree and even completed with gold bands encir- 
cling the bead to form an elaborate mount. Partic- 
ularly luxurious examples have been found in Uruk. 
They date to the period of Shu-Sin, the penultimate 
king of the Third Dynasty of Ur (2037-2029 B.C.), 
and are inscribed with the names of the priestesses 
Abbabashti and Kubatum.4 

The bead from Susa is a simplified imitation of 
these elaborate jewels. It is characteristic of Susian 
jewelry-making of that period, in which precious 
metals are lavishly employed, but the techniques are 
less refined than those used in Mesopotamia. 


1. Amiet, 1966, p. 249, fig. 184. 

2. Mecquenem, 1934, p. 210, fig. 53:2; Amiet, 1966, fig. 195; 
Tallon, 1987, no. 1174. 

3. Arnaud, Calvet, and Huot, 1979, pp. 48-49, fig. 76, pi. 3:1. 

4. H. J. Lenzen, "Die historischen Schichten von Eanna," 
UVB 8 (Berlin, 1937), pp. 20-26. 


Late-Third- Millennium Objects | 97 

61 Figure of a seated monkey 

Red calcite 

h. i 7 A in. (4. 7 cm); w. lVs in. (3 cm) 
Late }rd millennium B.c.(?) 
Sb 5884 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The monkey was represented as both a divine figure 
and a pet in many regions of the ancient world 
throughout the Bronze Age and was particularly 
prominent in art of the Mediterranean lands. 1 This 
small red stone sculpture is modeled in the form of 
a squatting monkey with round, hollow eyes beneath 
a brow line, semicircular ears with linear detail, and 
a line for a mouth. The stone is lighter in the area of 
the elongated muzzle, which is marked with hori- 
zontal lines. The monkey's tail, visible only in the 
back, extends in a curved line to the waist. This is 
one of a few early miniature ape figures from Susa 
and may date to the third millennium; it has no re- 
ported context. 2 Other examples come from the 
"archaic deposits/' a collection of small alabaster figu- 
rines of humans and animals made in Susa and re- 
lated in type and style to figurines of the Uruk 
period from Mesopotamia (see No. 33). 3 

This example, perhaps a rendering of the wide- 
spread Asiatic macaque,^ is difficult to place in a spe- 
cific artistic tradition. One early-second-millennium 
stone monkey from Ischali in Mesopotamia is quite 
different in style but is of interest because it comes 
from the Kititum Templet That seated figure has 
inlaid eyes, which may also have been true for the 
Susa sculpture. A number of copper-alloy cosmetic 
flasks from the Bactrian region of Afghanistan dat- 
ing from the late third to the early second millen- 
nium B.C. were cast in the form of very slender 
monkeys and monkey demons with anthropoid 
bodies, in one case wearing boots. 6 These creatures, 
like the generalized anthropomorphic monkey from 
Ischali, are impossible to identify as to species. 7 
Depictions of monkeys squatting and seated on 
stools like humans also occur on the distinctive com- 
partmented metal stamp seals of Bactria. This type 
of seal was distributed as far west as Susa itself. 8 
The imagery on these seals also includes standing 
and seated figures, some with wings or bird's heads, 
as well as snakes and dragons — indicating that mon- 
keys or monkey demons were part of the super- 
natural world of the peoples of western Central Asia. 

In contrast, monkeys are absent from the seals of 
the Indus Valley, where monkeys must have been 


abundant. 9 Among the few miniature representa- 
tions of monkeys in Harappan (Indus Valley) art 
there is one example, of green faience, that relates to 
the Susa sculpture in posture and has very deep-set 
round eyes in a head with both human and monkey 
characteristics. 10 

Susa's relations with both the distant land of 
Meluhha, identified as the Indus Valley or the 
greater (Moloccan) Indies, 11 and the intermediary 
regions now part of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan 
can be confirmed in the archaeological record. Ha- 
rappan imports at Susa include a clay head that may 
have been part of a statue of a seated figure; etched 
carnelian beads; and a cubic weight. 12 A seated male 
figure found at Susa, based on a Harappan proto- 
type, has been identified as a Bactrian import, along 
with an axe carved with the head of a dragon. 13 

The monkey is not a prominent image in the 
Elamite world, although one seal from Susa with a 
scene of presentation to a seated figure in a wide 
flounced garment includes an ape seated on a raised 
stand. a 4 It is possible that this red calcite figurine of 
an Asiatic macaque was imported from abroad, per- 
haps from the Indus Valley or another eastern 
region in close contact with Susa during the third 
millennium B.C. 


98 I The Old Elamite Period 

1. Dunham (1985, pp. 23411.) collects Mesopotamian references 
to monkeys and illustrates some Bronze Age examples; }. 
Vandier dAbbadie, "Les singes familiers dans l'ancienne 
Egypte (Peintures et Bas-Reliefs). I. LAncien Empire/' R d'E 
(1964), pp. 147ft., discusses the monkey in third-millennium 
Egypt. Monkeys depicted in paintings of Aegean gardens, 
like monkeys in Mesopotamia and the Levant, were probably 

2. Amiet, 1966, p. 200, no. 150. 

3. Ibid., nos. 73, 74 (see cat. no. 19). 

4. I thank Ian Tattersall, Department of Anthropology Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History New York, for references to 
macaques. Van Buren (1939, p. 22) distinguishes the short- 
tailed Asiatic gibbons of Mesopotamian miniature sculptures 
from long-tailed monkeys on cylinder seals. 

5. Frankfort, 1943, p. 20, pi. 74:335. 

6. Ligabue and Salvatori, eds., 1988, p. 240, pi. 107; others are 
in private collections; for other types of Bactrian animal- 
form cosmetic containers, see Pittman, 1984, pp. 43 ff., 97 

n. 21. 

7. Only one Bactrian small sculpture in a private collection, 
showing a squatting ape carrying a baby on its back, could, 
according to Ian Tattersall, indicate the artist's familiarity 
with an actual monkey — in this case, the southern Asiatic 
Langur presbitis. 

8. Sarianidi, 1983, p. 521, pi. 36:9 (this example identified as 
the Indian macaque); Amiet, 1986a, p. 318, fig. 178, p. 286, 
fig. 105. Pittman (1984, pp. 52ft) illustrates compartmented 
stamp seals in the Metropolitan Museum. 

9. Monkeys are represented in Buddhist art as heroic, playful, 
and reverent: K. Bharatha Iyer, Animals in Indian Sculpture 
(Bombay, 1977), p. 81, pis. 164-66; according to A. Basham 
(The Wonder That Was India [New York, 1959], p. 319) the 
monkey, later worshiped as the god Hanuman, is not espe- 
cially revered in early Hindu texts. 

10. H. Mode, Das Fruhe Indien (Stuttgart, 1959), pi. 51, top. 

11. Reade, 1986, p. 331. 

12. Amiet, 1986a, pp. 280-82, figs. 92-95; for local imitations 
of Indus seals, see ibid., fig. 94, and Parpola, Parpola, and 
Brunsweig, 1977, pp. 129-65. Amiet (1986a, p. 143) also re- 
lates the vaulted galleries adjacent to and perhaps part of 
Shulgi's Temple of Ninhursag of Susa to architectural con- 
structions (the monumental granary) at Mohenjodaro. 

13. Amiet, 1986a, pp. 147-48, 283-84, 286-87, who also dis- 
cusses a fragmentary female figure related to sculptures in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan: p. 284, figs. 98, 99. 

14. Seidl, 1990, p. 131, no. 2. They similarly occur on seals 
from Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia: see Collon, 1986, 
p. 45/ Cl8 - 

62 Bowl with bisons, trees, and hills 

Bituminous limestone 

H. in. (9 cm); diam. f/s in. (18 cm) 

Ca. 2100-2000 B.C. 

Acropole, beneath the temple of Inshushinak; Sb lyjo 

The exterior of the bowl is caryed in relief with four 
recumbent bisons, all facing to the right. 1 Between 
the animals stand four hillocks surmounted by con- 
iferous trees. The hillocks are rendered in a scale 
pattern that in the ancient Near East is used to indi- 
cate mountains — a motif first represented in the art 
of Iran during the Proto-Elamite period. 2 The same 
scale pattern surrounds the bottom of the bowl, di- 
rectly above the base. There it is used as a ground 


Vessels of Bitumen Compound | 99 

line to show that the animals and the trees are in a 
mountainous landscape. An eight-petaled rosette is 
on the exterior of the bowl's base. 

The bisons' beards are depicted as long strands of 
wavy hair emerging from short tight curls at the 
cheeks and nose and ending in curls. The remainder 
of the hair is arranged in strict rows of curling 
locks. The tufts of the tails are in a guilloche pat- 
tern. The closest parallel to this treatment of the 
hair, in rows of locks curling to the front, is on a 

bearded human-headed bull from the Nintu temple 
at Khafajeh in Mesopotamia that is datable to the 
mid-third millennium B.C. 3 


1. Mecquenem, 1911b, pp. 41-42, fig. 2; Porada, 1975, p. 388, 
pi. 302a. 

2. See Number 45 for a seal of this period representing ibexes 
and a tree on a hillock. 

3. Frankfort, 1943, pis. 49, 50. 

Vessels of Bitumen Compound 

From the Neolithic period onward, bitumen, an 
asphaltlike substance, was put to a variety of uses in 
the Near East. At Susa it was employed in the tra- 
ditional ways as a glue, a building mortar, and a water- 
proofing or caulk for floors, baskets, mats, and 
ceramics. 1 Beyond that, however, excavations at Susa 
have brought to light an abundance of varied objects 
executed in a material resembling stone but which 
analysis reveals is an artificial substance with a bitu- 
men base. Two overall questions then arise. First, what 
kind of substance is this, what is its exact composition, 
and how was it worked? Second, why create a material 
similar to stone in a region where stone is plentiful, 
particularly if its manufacture requires a degree of 
technological mastery? Physical and organic geo- 
chemical analyses can furnish a partial response to the 
first question. The second is more difficult to answer. 

There is nothing astonishing about the intensive 
use of bitumen at Susa, since the subsoil is rich in 
hydrocarbons. The city is surrounded by a crown of 
small deposits at Ain Gir, Dizful, Pol Doktar, and 
Mamatain. Farther east the important bed at Masjid-i 
Suleiman is still in use. Obtaining bitumen is easy. It 

flows from surface fissures, forming pools that spread 
more or less widely according to the contour of the 
land. It remains viscous in the center of the pool as 
long as the flow continues. At the outer edges the 
bitumen hardens as it mixes with the impurities of soil 
and air and as the volatile components gradually evap- 
orate. For traditional purposes, the bitumen was col- 
lected soft. It could be used unprocessed or mixed with 
a fine or coarse mineral temper and/or a vegetable 
temper to obtain the desired consistency. Transporting 
the bitumen did not present a problem, since a dense 
network of rivers crisscrosses Susiana. 

The objects from Susa described as being made of a 
bitumen compound (mastic de bitume) are composed 
of a unique material that differs from other bitumi- 
nous mixtures. 2 Carefully ground calcite and quartz 
are mixed with the bitumen to produce a substance of a 
dull gray color that varies from dark to light. It is hard 
and homogeneous but not very dense. When struck, 
an object of bitumen compound emits a heavy thud 
that differs from the clear sonority produced by a stone 
object of similar type and size. If scratched it gives off 
a strong odor of hydrocarbon. White dots, either scat- 

ioo I The Old Elamite Period 

tered or concentrated in long strata or bands, are visible 
on the surface, creating a veined appearance; the struc- 
ture within is consistent with the exterior. On most 
objects the surface is marked by a dense network of 
cracks, some very deep. Fragments of a uniform thick- 
ness have broken off certain objects. 

In contrast, some pieces are made of a less sophisti- 
cated mixture (bitumen and silica) which is closer to 
mortar and caulking products and is not homogeneous. 
Objects in this material, unlike those of bitumen com- 
pound, are cast, and often serve as the base for a gold or 
silver overlay 

Bitumen compound had a vast range of applica- 
tions at Susa. Objects made of this material include 
vessels both undecorated and decorated, the latter often 
carrying designs in relief or having parts sculpted in 
the shape of animal feet. Bitumen compound was used 
for sculpture, such as figurines and bas-relief plaques, 
and for many objects of everyday life, among them 
tool handles, maces, components of door fastenings, 
spindle-whorls, weights, stands, parts of furniture and 
wall decoration, and game pieces. Finally, jewelry 
items such as beads, pendants, and lip ornaments as 
well as about one-eighth of the cylinder seals from 
Susa are of bitumen compound. 

To learn more about this material used at Susa, 
which resembles no other known substance, the De- 
partement des Antiquites Orientales of the Louvre and 
directors of the more recent excavations enlisted the 
help of the French petrochemical corporation Elf- 
Aquitaine. A study by its technicians of both the Susa 
bitumens and bitumen artifacts recently excavated at 
other sites is now in progress. 

An analytical procedure was established. First, 
chloroform was used to extract the actual bitumen 
from the mineral part. Once separated, the bitumen 
was subjected in a gaseous state to chromatographical 
analyses and to analysis by chromatography coupled 
with mass spectrometry to determine its exact nature. 
X-ray diffraction of the mineral part identified those 
components, essentially calcite and quartz, and their 
percentages. Observation of thin strips of the material 
with an electronic scanning microscope revealed that 
the calcite had been artificially ground into granules 
of carefully calculated size and more or less regularly 
distributed through the bitumen. This accounts for 
the minuscule white dots visible on the surface and 
the bands where the calcite is incompletely blended in. 3 
Since no natural stone meets this description, we are 
clearly dealing with a synthetic substance. It is hoped 
that the study by scanner of several objects from Susa, 

recently undertaken in association with the American 
Hospital in Parish will yield conclusive additional in- 
formation, especially about the methods of fabricating 
both the material and the objects. 

Studies suggest that an object was fashioned of 
bitumen compound by first modeling or molding the 
material into the proper shape and then hardening the 
piece by a treatment still unknown (perhaps thermal). 
After that, the surface work was completed: the ves- 
sel was polished, the decoration carved, the finishing 
touches applied, or the inlaid and engraved details 
added. This interpretation — that the object was made 
by a combination of molding or modeling and 
carving — furnishes an explanation for the traces of 
cutting visible on most of the objects. 

Why did the Susians go to considerable effort to 
manufacture a synthetic substance when stone, in- 
cluding bituminous gray limestone, was readily avail- 
able? We lack the evidence that might provide an 
answer to this question. Elamite texts offer no infor- 
mation on the subject; Mesopotamian texts refer to 
deliveries of several varieties of bitumen and of mate- 
rials associated with its use (straw, sand, tools) but not 
to technical matters. Archaeological evidence bearing 
on the working of bitumen is rare and does not shed 
light on the process by which the bitumen compound 
was manufactured, including the key final stage of 
hardening. Bitumen heaped up ready for use was un- 
covered at Ur;^ bitumen mixers were found at Ben- 
debal near Susa; 6 and bituminous material in different 
stages of manufacture was discovered by H. T. Wright 
in what seems to have been a bitumen-processing 
center at Farukhabad in the Deh Luran plain. 7 But 
these are only signs of the working of bitumen. 

The bitumen compound substance seems to have 
already been developed by the time of the first set- 
tlement at Susa, as the mace from Jaffarabad and 
the cone-shaped cosmetic containers excavated from 
the cemetery of Susa I (No. 14) testify This is all the 
more remarkable because numerous experiments must 
have preceded the successful production of this com- 
plex substance. The compound continued to be used, 
with varying frequency, throughout Susa's existence. 
The " recipe" seems to have been transmitted over the 
years with relatively few modifications. The two most 
representative periods of production are the early to 
mid-third millennium and around the end of the third 
millennium B.C. Bitumen compound of the latter pe- 
riod is characterized by more carefully calculated 
granularity, the systematic use of light and dark bands, 
and particularly meticulous polishing. Although pro- 


duction at other times was somewhat limited, the ma- 
terial was employed uninterruptedly at least until the 
Neo-Elamite period (see No. 141). 

Finally it seems that the Susians made a specialty 
of the use of this medium. Future art-historical and 
technical analyses of works of art in bitumen com- 
pound found beyond the plain of southwestern Iran 
may indicate that some of these objects are in fact 
exports from Susiana. Bitumen compound is one more 
manifestation of the Susian originality so often dem- 
onstrated in other domains. 



1. R. J. Forbes, "Bitumen and Petroleum in Antiquity/' in E. J. Brill, 
ed., Studies in Ancient Technology, vol. 1 (Leiden, 1964), 
pp. 1-123. 

2. Most of the objects of bitumen compound from Susa have been 
published in MDP, vols. 7 (1905), 8 (1912), 25 (1934), and 29 
(1943); see also Deschesne (forthcoming). 

3. J. Connan, "Quelques secrets des bitumes archeologiques de 
Mesopotamie reveles par les analyses de geochimie organique 
petroliere," Bulletin des centres de recherches exploration - 
production Elf-Aquitaine 12 (1988), p. 759. The results of work 
done on Mesopotamian objects can also be applied to objects 
from Susa. 

4. The team is headed by Professor V Bismuth, director of the 
Department of Medical Imaging, American Hospital, Paris. 

5. Leonard Woolley, Ur Excavations, vol. 8: The Kassite Period and 
the Period of the Assyrian Kings (London, 1965), p. 61; idem, 
Ur Excavations, vol. 9: The Neo-Baby Ionian and Persian Pe- 
riods (London, 1962), p. 12. 

6. G. Dollfus, "Les fouilles a Djaffarabad de 1972 a 1974," DAFI 5 
(Paris, 1975), pp. 35-39. 

7. R.-E Marschner, L. J. Duffy, and H. Wright, 'Asphalts from 
Ancient Town Sites in Southwestern Iran," Paleorient 4 (1978), 
pp. 97" 112 - 

63 Tripod with mountain goats 

Bitumen compound with gold, bronze, shell, and 
lapis lazuli 

H. y% in. (18.5 cm); DIAM. 11 in. (28 cm) 
Early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Apadana, second court, tomb I; Sb 2737 
Excavated by Mecquenem, 1921. 

The tripod has a round bowl with a flat base and a 
slightly flaring profile. 1 The rim is decorated with 
six rectangular plaques of white shell placed at even 
intervals, each riveted into place with two gold- 
headed bronze pins. The bowl rests on three legs at- 
tached to three projections from the bowl by means 
of tenons, each fixed by one or two bronze lateral 
pegs. Each leg is in the form of a mountain goat 
whose forelegs and hind legs are bent beneath its 
body. The goats' heads and forequarters are sculpted 
in the round, but the hindquarters are carved in re- 
lief onto the conical tripod legs. The hair at the neck 
is indicated by rows of sharply incised curved lines, 
that at the forehead and beard by straight lines. Six 

102 | The Old Elamite Period 

incised wavy lines are on each horn. The eyes are in- 
laid with shell and lapis lazuli. 

The tripod was recovered from a tomb under the 
floor of the central court in the apadana. The burial 
consisted of a ribbed terracotta bathtub sarcophagus 
turned upside down and placed on a surface paved 
with small bricks. 

The technique used to manufacture this object 
and others like it is not fully understood. 2 It seems 
likely however, that the piece was at least partly 
made in a mold. Perhaps the legs were originally 
molded, with the carved or incised details added as a 
final step. Objects made of bitumen compound have 
been found primarily at Susa. The material may 
have been used as a substitute for dark stone. Ves- 
sels of bitumen compound are objects of Elamite or- 
igin^ they were used as burial gifts in Elam in the 
early second millennium B.C. and were also im- 
ported into Mesopotamia during that period. 


1. Mecquenem, 1922, p. 136, fig. 13; Amiet, 1966, fig. 210; 
idem, 1988b, fig. 39:3026; Porada, 1975, pi. 302b. 

2. See preceding essay. 

3. Rather than Mesopotamian; see Porada, 1965, pp. 52-53. 

64 Bison protome bowl 

Bitumen compound 
H. 3 in. (7.5 cm); l. 4 in. (10 cm) 
Early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 787 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 2934(7) 

This fragmentary vessel is in the form of a recum- 
bent bison with forelegs tucked under the body. 1 The 
other side of the vessel is not preserved. The head, 
which is turned to the side and slightly raised, is 
modeled in the round; the body is rendered in relief 
along the side of the vessel. The animal's beard is 
incised with vertical striations; the hair on the neck 
and forehead is represented by rows of locks curling 
left and right in alternate rows. The hollow eyes 
originally would have been inlaid, probably with 
shell and lapis lazuli. 

The object belongs to a class of Elamite vessels 
found primarily in graves and datable to the early 
second millennium B.C. 2 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 204; G. Contenau, MDP 29 (1943)/ p. 191/ 

2. See Number 63. A similar vessel on which the animal's entire 
body is represented is in the Iran Bastan Museum, Teheran; 
see Amiet, 1966, fig. 205. 


Vessels of Bitumen Compound \ 103 


65 Bull protome bowl 

Bitumen compound 

H. 5Y2 in. (14 cm); L. 8V2 in. (21.5 cm) 

Early 2nd millennium B.C. 

Donjon; Sb 2738 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

Emerging from the body of this vessel is a protome 
in the form of the forepart of a recumbent bull, its 
head facing forward and tilted slightly upward, its 
front legs tucked under its body. 1 The bull's head is 
modeled in the round; the forelegs are carved in 

shallow relief. The hindquarters of the animal merge 
with the body of the vessel. 

The bowl belongs to a category of Elamite vessels 
of which some were found in tombs, and is datable 
to the beginning of the second millennium B.C. The 
practice of using bowls decorated with animal pro- 
tomes as burial gifts had already begun in the first 
half of the third millennium in Susa. 2 


1. Mecquenem, 1934, pi. 12:2, pp. 209-11; Rutten, 1935-36, 
vol. 1, p. 249A; Amiet, 1966, fig. 201. 

2. Amiet, 1966, p. 143, fig. 104. 

104 I The Old Elamite Period 


66 Vessel with bull-men and caprids 

Bitumen compound 

H. i 3 / 4 in. (4.5 cm); w. 2% in. (5.8 cm) 

Late yd millennium b.c.(?) 

Sb 5 6 35 

This fragment of a cylindrical vessel is carved in re- 
lief. 1 From what remains of the scene, it can be in- 
terpreted as a frieze of three bull-men standing in 
upright positions, each grasping a struggling caprid 
by a hind leg. 

The motif of bull-men dominating animals is 
found frequently in glyptic art of the Early Dynas- 
tic-Akkadian periods in Mesopotamia. The shape of 
the vessel is known from a somewhat later date. 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 200. 

67 Vessel fragment with bison 

Bitumen compound 

H. 2 in. (5 cm); w. lVs in. (2.8 cm) 

Early 2nd millennium B.C. 

Sb 5 6 3 6 

This fragment of a vessel carved in relief with a bi- 
son's head 1 is of the same general type as the bison 
bowl Number 62. With its delicate modeling of the 
animal, treatment of the large eye and eyebrow, and 
delineation of the hair in rows of carefully arranged 
curls, this fragment resembles the carving on 
that bowl. 


The tail of a second animal, perhaps also a bison, 
can be seen at the lower right corner of the frag- 
ment. The scale motif at the rim implies that the 
scene is set in a mountainous landscape. 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 202. 

68 Cylindrical vessel 

Bitumen compound 

H. y/s in. (8.5 cm); diam. 5 3 /s in. (13.8 cm); L. 7 in, 
(17 .9 cm) 

Early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 11214 

This cylindrical vessel with flared ledge foot and rim 
and with central ribbing and spool -shaped handle 
probably comes from a burial context. The same 


Vessels of Bitumen Compound \ 105 

vessel shape characterizes two burial gifts of bitu- 
men compound from tombs in the Donjon area. 1 
The first of these has a handle in the form of two 
suppliant goddesses in tiered costumes; the second 
has a recumbent goat with backward-turned head 
emerging from the body of the cup. 

Although the cup shown here has no animal or 
figural decoration, it seems to belong to the same 
class of bituminous burial vessels dating to the early 
second millennium B.C. The shape with spool handle 
has no parallel in ceramic or stone vessels of the 
area; it appears to be used only for vessels of bitu- 
men compound. The spool handles may represent 
the imitation of a metal form that has not survived. 


1. Mecquenem, 1934, pp. 211, 230-31, pis. 12, 13; Amiet, 1966, 
figs. 208, 209. 

69 Duck weight 

Bitumen compound 

Second or first millennium B.C. 

H. 2 in. (5 cm); L. y/s in. (8.5 cm) 

Weight: 4.75 oz. (135.8 g) 

Sb 2832 

Weights in the shape of a duck are first attested in 
Mesopotamia in the last quarter of the third millen- 
nium B.C. The type was subsequently borrowed in 
Iran, where it continued to be used until the 
Achaemenid period (6th~4th century B.C.). 1 

The ducks can be identified as standard weights 
because many examples bearing inscriptions of a 
unit of measure and the name of a guaranteeing au- 
thority survive. Diorite and hematite, both dark 
stones, are commonly used for these weights. The 
use at Susa of bitumen compound as the material for 
duck weights — several such exist — is unusual. As is 
the case with the carved vessels and other objects, 
bitumen compound may here have been an inexpen- 
sive substitute for stone. 2 

The form of the duck's body is abbreviated and 
the head is turned and rests on the body. There is no 
indication of wings, feet, or other anatomical details. 
The continued use of this shape over two millennia 
with little or no change or stylistic variation makes 
it impossible to date such objects unless they are 
from a good stratigraphic context or bear an 


1. For weights and measures in the ancient Near East see Marvin 
A. Powell, Jr., 'Ancient Mesopotamian Weight Metrology: 
Methods, Problems, and Perspectives/' in M. A. Powell and 
Ronald H. Sack, eds., Studies in Honor of Tom B. Jones 
(Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1979), pp. 71-109; M. A. Powell, 

"Masse und Gewichte," in R LA, vol. 7, pp. 457-517. For a 
third-millennium example excavated at the Nintu temple level 
7 and dated to the Early Dynastic Ill-Akkadian period, see P 
Delougaz and S. Lloyd, Pre-Sargonid Temples in the Diyala 
Region, OIP 58 (Chicago, 1942), p. 150. For an example dated 
by inscription to the reign of the Mesopotamian ruler Shulgi 
(ca. 2070 B.C.), see Amiet, 1980a, fig. 409. A duck weight of 
the Achaemenid period was excavated from the floor of treas- 
ury room 33 at Persepolis: Schmidt, 1957, pi. 82, no. 3. 

2. A duck weight of bitumen compound with an inscription giv- 
ing the amount "five minas" was also excavated at Susa, fur- 
ther evidence that these bitumen compound ducks were used 
as weights: see Amiet, 1966, fig. 346. Weights at Susa are 
discussed by M.-C. Soutzo, "Description des monuments 
ponderaux assyro-chaldeens trouves a Suse," MDP 12 (1911)/ 
pp. 5-50. 


Seals of the Old Elamite Period 

e site of Susa provides us with a wealth of glyptic 
material (that is, seals and seal impressions). Using 
evidence from the few instances of recorded archae- 
ological context for these objects as well as inscriptions 
on seals and sealings and stylistic comparisons with 
known glyptic sequences in Mesopotamia, this corpus 
of seals has been arranged in chronological order, 
largely through the work of Pierre Amiet. 1 A study of 
these seals provides insights into official and religious 
iconography (Nos. 73, 76), levels of craftsmanship 
(Nos. 74, 77), and intercultural exchanges (Nos. 78, 
79). Some of these topics are briefly discussed below. 

Seals of Elamite Rulers and Officials 

During most of the third millennium Susa was largely 
under Mesopotamian domination. The majority of 

Figure 33. Seal impression depicting the battle of the gods. Susa, 
reign of Eshpum, governor of Susa, ca. 2269-2255 B.C. Clay, 
H. i/s in. (3 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, Sb 6675 

seals from that period found at the site are hard to 
differentiate from the Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and 
Neo-Sumerian glyptic of Mesopotamia. Occasionally, 
seals are marked by stylistic and iconographic pecu- 
liarities that lead us to recognize them as having been 
made in Elam (No. 70; fig. 6, p. 6). 2 

In the Akkadian period, Elamite rulers and high 
officials used Mesopotamian seals with scenes of "the 
battle of the gods," contest scenes, and presentation 
scenes; the last two themes are known from seal in- 
scriptions to have belonged to officials in Meso- 
potamia as well. 3 One notable example from Susa is 
the seal of the Elamite governor Eshpum (fig. 33), 
vassal to the Akkadian king Manishtushu, who 
reigned from 2269 to 2255 B.C. (No. 107; see also No. 

At the end of the third and in the early second 
millennium B.C., there is again clear evidence that the 
iconography associated with official authority in the 
Mesopotamian world was used in a similar manner in 
Elam. During a period of repeated confrontations be- 
tween Ur III rulers and rulers of the Shimashkian 
dynasty in Elam, the Sumerian presentation scene was 
pervasive in the art of both Susa and Mesopotamia. 
One important example, depicting an interceding god- 
dess leading a petitioner to the king, is the seal in- 
scribed with the names of the ruler Ebarat, founder of 
the Sukkalmah dynasty the official Kuk-Kalla, and 
the ruler Shilhaha, who was Ebarat's son, co-regent, 
and successor (No. 73). 4 The seal of an official, 
"Buzua, a servant of Ebarat/' depicts a petitioner di- 
rectly before the king, but with a suppliant goddess 
behind — a second, slightly later version of the stan- 
dard three-figure Sumerian presentation scenes This 
is also the composition used on the seal of the official 
Kuk-Simut, accompanied by an inscription naming 
the ruler Idaddu (II) as bestower of the seal (fig. 34). 
Idaddu II was probably a contemporary of Ebarat. 6 



Seals of the Old Elamite Period | 107 

Both the legend and the image of Kuk-Simut holding a 
dragon -headed axe of a type actually found at Susa? 
appear to be explicit references to the granting of 
authority by the ruler to an official, and recall the Ur 
III seals that mention the presentation of the seal to a 
functionary by the king. 8 

The period when Susa was a major Elamite center 
under the Sukkalmah dynasty yields Sumerian-type 
glyptic as well as a group of seals that were not directly 
derived from Mesopotamia. Particularly notewor- 
thy are the seal of the ruler Ebarat (fig. 38, p. 115), 
whose officials had Mesopotamian-type seals with 
presentation scenes, and related images of divine 
and royal figures in association with the fruits of the 
vine and life-giving water (No. 74; and see fig. 10, 
P- 9)- 

Seals with Religious Imagery 

Seals and monuments of Elamite officials and rulers 
bear images that emphasize their relationship to the 
gods. 9 Rulers of the Old Elamite period with the titles 
sukkalmah, sukkal of Elam and Shimashki, and suk- 
kal of Susa, as well as kings Tepti-ahar and Untash- 
Napirisha of the Middle Elamite period, are shown 
directly before a major Elamite deity seated on a 
human- or dragon-headed serpent (Nos. 76, 80). 10 A 
connection can be discerned between the image of an 
Elamite god on a coiled serpent throne, whom scholars 
have identified as either Napirisha or Inshushinak, and 
the earlier Mesopotamian snake god of the Akkadian 
period, which is transformed into a coiled serpent at 
the waist (No. 71). This snake god is sometimes also 
shown being approached by a worshiper. 

The many gods and goddesses of the Elamite pan- 
theon, known from textual references, are difficult to 
distinguish in Elamite art. Exceptional, however, is the 
goddess Narundi, who can be recognized on inscribed 
monuments and is associated with the lion (No. 55). 
An extraordinary seal, known to us from an impres- 
sion that probably sealed a door, provides us with 
images of female figures seated(?) on lions — one fe- 
male has vessels at the shoulders and one, wearing a 
fleecy garment, is between nude male figures with 
palm fronds — and an armed male figure standing on a 
quadruped. These images are juxtaposed with figures 
of demons and animals and a Mesopotamian-type 
Early Dynastic contest scene (fig. 6, p. 6). They may 
represent an early attempt at depicting the local pan- 
theon. 11 Such rare images contrast with the numerous 
depictions of gods of the Mesopotamian pantheon that 
were either made at Susa during the Mesopotamian 
domination or imported from the west (No. 72). 

Representations of the Elamite supernatural world, 
seen on the Susa door sealing mentioned above and on 
other objects as well, also include fantastic beings that 
combine human features or postures with those of 
lions, bulls, mouflons, birds, and fish (Nos. 47, 80). 

Seals and Intercultural Exchange 

Mesopotamian seals of both the third and second mil- 
lennia profoundly influenced the glyptic arts of Susa; 
this is evident in the adoption of the presentation scene 
(see No. 73). A different phenomenon is illustrated by 
the presence at Susa of a few seals from Bronze Age 
Bactria and the Persian Gulf (Nos. 78, 79), one Gulf 

io8 | The Old Elamite Period 

sealing, local imitations of Gulf seals in bitumen com- 
pound, and a circular stamp seal and a cylinder seal 
with Indus Valley-derived imagery and script. These 
seals had little influence on Old Elamite glyptic and 
appear at Susa as a result of commercial exchange. 12 

joan aruz 


1. Amiet, 1972a, passim; idem, 1971, pp. 217^; idem, 1973a, 
pp. 3 f £. ; idem, 1973b, pp. 3ft. ; idem, 1980b, pp. 133ft. 

2. Porada, 1962, p. 47; Collon, 1987, pp. 39, 55. 

3. Amiet, 1966, pp. 214 no. 157, 217 no. 159; Scheil, 1913, pp. 4-6; 
Richard Zettler, ''The Sargonic Royal Seal: A Consideration of 
Sealing in Mesopotamia," in McGuire Gibson and Robert D. 
Biggs, eds., Seals and Sealing in the Ancient Near East, BM 
vol. 6 (Malibu, CaL, 1977), p. 34; Collon, 1982, pp. 70-71, 
no. 135, pi. 19:135; Winter, 1987, p. 73 n. 16. 

4. Vallat, 1990, pp. 120-27. Winter (1987, pp. 76-77) notes that 
seals of very high-ranking officials may have a composition 
which places the petitioner directly before the king, with no 
intervening goddess. At Susa, only a few seals have this ico- 
nography: e.g., Amiet, 1972a, no. 1678, a servant of Idaddu. 

5. Amiet, 1972a, no. 1686. 

6. Lambert, 1971, pp. 2i8ff. ; Amiet, 1972a, no. 1677; Stolper, 
1982, p. 55. 

7. Amiet, 1986a, p. 286, fig. 107. See Numbers 81 and 82 for a 
discussion of the serpent-dragon. For weapons inscribed with 
royal names, see Number 56 and Amiet, 1986a, p. 276, fig. 84. 

8. Lambert, 1971, pp. 2i8ff.; Winter (1987, p. 73) considers these 
seals to be the property of particularly important personages in 
the secular administration. 

9. A seal naming Aza, son and scribe of Id...(?) and Queen 
Mckubi, mother of Idaddu II, depicts a seated god extending a 
rod and ring toward a male figure, and a suppliant goddess: 
Amiet, 1980b, p. 135. 

10. Miroschedji, 1981a, pp. iff. See Vallat, 1990, pp. ii9ff., for the 
use of these titles by the Elamite ruler. 

11. Amiet, 1970b, p. 23. 

12. Amiet, 1986a, pp. 280, figs. 93, 94, 286, fig. 105. For a discus- 
sion of the use of local imitations by traders living abroad, see 
Parpola, Parpola, and Brunswig, 1977, pp. 1 55 ff. 

70 Cylinder seal with milking scene 


H. i'/ 4 in. (3.2 cm); diam. % in. (1.9 cm) 
Ca. 2600-2500 B.C. 

Vase a la cachette f Acropole; Sb 2723/58 
Excavated by Morgan, iyoy. 

The seal is part of a collection of objects that were 
discovered in 1907 inside two large clay jars on the 
Susa Acropole. 1 Known as the vase a la cachette f 
this find included eleven alabaster vessels; forty- 
eight copper and bronze vessels, tools, and weapons; 
gold rings and beads; a tiny lapis lazuli frog; and 
six cylinder seals. Only one of the two containers is 
now preserved, painted and covered by a second 
painted bowl (fig. 35). 2 

This seal is finely worked in shell, which has 
turned green from contact with the copper objects in 
the vase. Represented below a row of reclining goats 
is a scene of animal husbandry, with a standing 
kilted figure steadying a goat while it is being 
milked by a man seated behind it. Dominating the 
field, next to a tall stalk of grain(?) that resembles 
millet or sorghum^ is a large seated figure wearing 


Modern impression 

Seals of the Old Elamite Period | 109 

(51 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, Sb 2723 

a long striated garment and holding a cup. This fig- 
ure seems to sit on two milk jars, before a large up- 
right dog who licks him. 

Scenes of milking and dairy production with fig- 
ures seated behind cows are well known in Meso- 
potamia in the Early Dynastic period, particularly 
on inlaid friezes from Kish and Al 'Ubaid. The latter 
frieze is from a temple dedicated to Ninhursag, the 
goddess of wild and herd animals and "birth-giver" 
and nurturer of humans. 4 Goats are similarly shown 
being milked on cylinder seals, some of which have 
a second register of standing animals or human fig- 
ures. 5 Registers of reclining goats are also common 
in the art of Mesopotamia. But certain peculiar fea- 
tures on this seal — such as the unusual plant, the 
pet dog, and the large seated figure, spanning both 
registers, in a vertically striated garment — suggest 
that it may be a local product, although carved with 
the distinctive use of the drill that is characteristic of 
Early Dynastic IIIA glyptic from Mesopotamia. 6 

Three other cylinders found in the vase are 
Mesopotamian in style, one with geometric patterns 
and two with animal contest scenes; they range in 
date from Early Dynastic I to IIIB (ca. 2900-2400 
B.C.). One additional seal in the deposit, however, 
contains iconographic features that derive from an 
eastern source. It is engraved with the figure of a 
standing lion facing a zebu. 7 The zebu has its head 
lowered in a posture more characteristic of Harappan 
short-horned bulls. 8 

Many objects in the vase a la cachette — the seal 
with the zebu, objects made of copper from the re- 
gion of Oman (identified as ancient Magan),9 and 
eight bronzes produced with tin that may have been 
brought from Afghanistan along the sea route to 
Oman and Elam 10 — suggest that there was an active 
commercial network and cultural exchange in the 
middle of the third millennium B.C. 11 This is the 
period of the wide distribution of "intercultural 
style" carved chlorite vessels from eastern Iran and 

no The Old Elamite Period 

the Persian Gulf to the Indus Valley, western Iran, 
Mesopotamia, and Syria. 12 

The vase a la cachette find, consisting of objects 
made over a five-hundred-year span and of diverse 
origins/3 wa s deposited no earlier than about 2400 
B.C. While other hoards of copper objects are known 
from third-millennium contexts/4 examples with 
similarly diverse contents date from later periods. 
One hoard, the "Tod treasure/' was deposited in 
four bronze caskets in the foundations of the temple 
of Montu at Tod in Egypt and consists of foreign sil- 
ver vessels, seals, and lapis lazuli amulets. 15 Some of 
the vessels in the Tod treasure were crushed and 
folded, suggesting that they were valued for their 
material rather than their finished form. The seals, 
of various dates and styles, may have been collected 
over generations. Porada believes that they belonged 
to a merchant charged with obtaining lapis lazuli for 
the king of Egypt. 16 While the contents of the vase 
a la cachette are much more modest than those of 
the Egyptian treasure, it is likely that the seals and 
the copper and other objects were part of a collection 
hoarded by a wealthy Elamite merchant. 1 7 

1. Rutten et at, 1935-36, vol. 2, p. 71, fig. 33; Amiet, 1986a, 
pp. 125ft.; Tallon, 1987, pp. 328ff. For the cylinder seals: Le 
Breton, 1957, p. 117/ fig. 39; Delaporte, 1920, pis. 14:12 
(537), 27:4 (S348), 30:5 (s 4 io), 31:7 (S434), 32:12 (S459), 
33:2 (S464). The find is mentioned in MDP 13 (1912), p. 144, 
and published in Mecquenem, 1934, pp. 188-89, n g- 21 / 
and in Le Breton, 1957, p. 118. See also Herzfeld, 1933, 

pp. 58-59. 

2. MDP 13 (1912), pp. 144k, pi. 24. Tallon (1987, pp. 328ft) 
explains that a second unpainted vessel containing some of 
this material is no longer preserved. For stratified parallels 

for the surviving container, see Steve and Gasche, 1971, 
p. 90. 

3. I thank Victoria John of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for 
this possible identification; the similar stalk on the Uruk 
Vase, according to John, could also be millet. See Crawford, 
1991b, p. 44. 

4. Moortgat, 1969, p. 29, pi. 40; Jacobsen, 1976, pp. 10411. 

5. Al-Gailani Werr, 1982, pp. 72-73, no. 12; Amiet, 1980c, 
p. 432, pi. 87, nos. 1143, 1144, 1146, 1149. 

6. Al-Gailani Werr, 1982, p. 73, nos. 10-11; Collon, 1987, 
p. 28, fig. 74. 

7. Delaporte, 1920, pi. 25:15 (S299). 

8. Joshi and Parpola, 1987, pp. 60-6^; see also Amiet, 1986a, 
p. 280, fig. 94. 

9. Potts, 1978, p. 36; for a discussion of Oman/Magan and its 
foreign relations, see Cleuziou, 1986, pp. 143ft 

10. Tallon (1987, p. 331) who notes that one object may be a 
Harappan import; Cleuziou and Berthoud, 1982, pp. i6ff. 
Afghanistan is also the source for lapis lazuli, the material 
used for the frog deposited in the vase. 

11. Tallon (1987, p. 333) notes that tin-bronze is first known in 
Mesopotamia in Early Dynastic IIIA. 

12. Philip Kohl, "Carved Chlorite Vessels: A Trade in Finished 
Commodities in the Mid-Third Millennium/' Expedition 18, 
no. 1 (1975), pp. 18-31. 

13. Amiet (1986a, p. 127) compares the alabaster material of 
stone vases in the deposit with examples from Shahr-i 

14. Delougaz, Hill, and Lloyd, 1967, pp. 184ft, a hoard thought 
to be a ritual deposit because of a bowl dedicated to the deity 
Abu; Hansen, 1973, p. 69; Tallon (1987, pp. 336ft) dis- 
cusses a second hoard at Susa. 

15. Porada, 1982, pp. 285ft For a discussion of a jeweler's hoard 
from Larsa that contained seals, see Arnaud, Calvet, and 
Huot, 1979, pp. iff. 

16. Porada, 1982, p. 291. 

17. Amiet (1986a, pp. 125ft) believes that some pieces func- 
tioned as weights and ingots and were hoarded for monetary 
value. He thinks the seals were thrown in to identify the 
owners, although the range of the dates and styles of the 
seals in the hoard may argue against that interpretation. 

Seals of the Old Elamite Period \ 111 

71 Cylinder seal with snake god and 


H. iVs in. (2.8 cm); diam. Vz in. (1.3 cm); 
string hole 3 Ae in (.3 cm) 
Akkadian, ca. 2234-2134 B.C. 
Donjon; Sb 1033 
Excavated by Mecquenem. 

This Akkadian seal was found, probably out of its 
original context, during Mecquenem's 1929-33 ex- 
cavations in the Donjon area. 1 It depicts a figure 
with a human head and upper body wearing a long 
beard and hair bound at the back. His nude torso 
changes at the waist into a serpentine body that de- 
scends in coils, the lowest of these becoming the 
curving neck and head of a snake. The snake head is 
framed by a rectangular structure, probably a tem- 
ple door, 2 that has two branchlike sides and a central 
hourglass -shaped element. The serpent-figure 
extends a cup toward a worshiper standing before 
this structure. 

The seal belongs to a well-known group of repre- 
sentations of the Akkadian snake god, found at Susa 
and also in Mesopotamia: at the southern sites of Ur 
and Kish, at Eshnunna and Khafajeh in the Diyala 
region, and at Suliemeh in the Hamrin basin. 3 
These seals are carved in a distinctive linear "cut" 
style, marked by the use of the cutting wheel to cre- 
ate short parallel lines. The Diyala region has been 
suggested as the place of origin of this style. 4 In 
both Mesopotamia and Iran these seals are made of 
shell or stone and show the snake god, at times 
wearing a horned crown and occasionally with a 
plant or flames rising from his shoulder. ^ He has 
coils terminating in branches or snake's heads and 
appears to be seated in the company of other deities 
or to be approached by worshipers. The snake god 
may hold a cup or branch and face an altar or vessel 
emanating flames or plants. The tall rectangular 
structure in the field, sometimes winged or flaming, 6 
has horizontal divisions and is often embellished 
with internal cross patterns. It closely resembles the 
gates that frame the ascending sun god, Shamash, 
and the winged temple gates on the backs of bulls, 
on cylinder seals executed in a similar cut style. 7 

Seal imagery thus provides evidence that the 
human-snake creature, a nature god, is associated 
with both vegetation and fire. This connection is 
suggested on an Akkadian seal impression from 
Eshnunna, where a god in human form sits before a 

Modern impression 

flaming altar with entwined snakes behind him; he 
is approached by a god leading worshipers, one with 
a snake. 8 

Except for one seal that bears a personal name, 
inscriptions are lacking on seals with the human- 
snake deity, and his identification rests on the visual 
and textual evidence for other gods with snake asso- 
ciations. Frankfort's reconstruction of the scene on a 
seal that was impressed on a number of sealing frag- 
ments from Eshnunna shows snakes emerging from 
the feet of a deity 9 and bears a dedication to Tish- 
pak, who in the Akkadian period replaced the under- 
world deity Ninazu as city god of Eshnunna. 10 
Tishpak's snakelike character (like that of Ninazu's 
son Ningizzida) is expressed a little later on seals by 
the presence of the mushhushshu, or serpent- 
dragon. On the lapis lazuli seal of the ruler Bilalama 
of Eshnunna, whose daughter married Tan- 
Ruhuratir, the king of Susa in the twentieth century 
B.C., serpent-dragon heads emerge from Tishpak's 
shoulders (fig. 36). 11 

The close historical connection between Esh- 
nunna and Susa in the late third and second mil- 

Figure 36. Modern impression of the seal of Bilalama depicting 
the ruler before the god Tishpak. Seal: Eshnunna, Iraq, ca. 
early 20th century B.C. Lapis lazuli, H. iVs in. (2.8 cm). 
Chicago, Oriental Institute, A 7468 

112 The Old Elamite Period 

lennia, documented in texts, is perhaps already 
discernible in the material record by the occurrence 
of cut-style seals at both sites in the Akkadian pe- 
riod. 12 The iconography of the snake gods of 
Eshnunna — where a deity with human head and 
torso has a lower body in serpent form and where 
Tishpak sits on snakes or a mushhushshu — may be 
reflected again in second-millennium Iran in depic- 
tions of a fully anthropomorphic god seated on a 
serpent throne with coils terminating in a human or 
dragon head (see Nos. 76, So , and fig. 10, p. 9). 13 


1. Mecquenem, 1934, pp. 232 fig. 82:5, 222-33. 

2. Amiet, 1972a, pp. 191, 203, no. 1592; Boehmer, 1965, 

pp. lc^ff., figs. 589-99; for actual shrine doors with wooden 
horizontals, see Hayes, 1953/ p. 25 7, fig. 163. 

3. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 150, nos. 1591-95; Boehmer, 1965, 

pp. i02ff., pi. 49; Porada, 1948, pi. 34, nos. 216-19; Collon, 
1982, pi. 27; Frankfort, 1955, pi. 56, no. 589; Buchanan, 
1966, pi. 27, nos. 342-44; Al-Gailani Werr, 1982, p. 8i, 
fig. 40. 

4. Laird, 1984, passim, who also lists other themes, such as 
bulls with winged gates, in the same style. 

5. Boehmer, 1965, pi. 49, nos. 580, 586. 

6. Ibid., no. 576; Al-Gailani Werr, 1982, p. 81, fig. 40. 

7. Various other elements found on snake god seals also occur 
on seals with different imagery. The altar with shooting 
flames is found in introduction scenes: Porada, 1948, pi. 39, 
no. 245; the star-spade appears with both the snake god and 
the sun god: Collon, 1982, pi. 27, no. 189; Van Buren, 1945, 
p. 85, no. 6; snake god and sun god imagery merge in the 
figure of the "god-boat," a vehicle for Shamash that is com- 
posed of a human head and torso and an elongated tubular 
body that ends in a leonine or serpentine head. 

8. Frankfort, 1955, pi. 56, no. 592. 

9. The juncture between the lower part of the gods robe and 
the snakes is not clear on the thirteen preserved fragments 
bearing the impression of this seal (Oriental Institute, Chi- 
cago, AS 32-641 a-m); on the basis of fragments e and f, it is 
possible to interpret the two undulating lines below the seat 
not as its base, but as the tails of the snakes — although clear 
evidence is lacking. 

10. Frankfort, 1939, p. 120, example dated to the early Akkadian 
period; Wiggerman, 1989, p. 120; Jacobsen, 1934, pp. 2off. ; 
for Ninazu and snake imagery, see Amiet, 1970a, pp. 9rf. 

11. Frankfort, Jacobsen, and Preusser, 1932, p. 19; Porada, 1980, 
p. 262, who states that the dragon and inscription were added 
after the original cutting of the seal in Ur III; for eastern 
Iranian images of snakes emerging from the shoulders of de- 
ities that predate the Bilalama seal, see figure 8 above, p. 7. 

12. Imported Elamite seals that can be dated to the post- 
Akkadian period and paralleled at Susa are also found at Esh- 
nunna: Frankfort, 1955, pi. 56 no. 597, and Amiet, 1972a, 
pi. 153, no. 1641. 

13. This is also the view of Seidl, 1986, p. 21. 

72 Cylinder seal with Mesopotamian 
divinities and inscription 


H. 1 in. (2.6 cm); diam. 5 /s in. (1.6 cm); string hole 
Vie in. (.4 cm) 

Old Babylonian, lyth-early 18th century B.C. 
Sb 1446 

One of the finest seals found at Susa is a Mesopota- 
mian or Syrian cylinder of the early Old Babylo- 
nian period, a time corresponding to sukkalmah 
rule in Elam. 1 The seal is carved in a modeled style 
with images of Mesopotamian divinities. The most 
important is the water god Ea, wearing a horned 
crown and flounced robe and standing on a goat-fish 
in an arc formed by the joined bodies of two water 
deities. These nature spirits hold vessels out of 
which rise the fishy streams that also flow from the 
god's shoulders and mix with waters emanating from 
a vase held in his left hand. Similar water divinities 
are depicted, supporting the throne of a seated water 
god with flowing streams, on the numerous impres- 
sions of the seal of a personage named Iluna-Kirish, 
found in the palace at Mari, on the Euphrates in 
eastern Syria. 2 

The water god on the seal from Susa faces right 
(in the impression); before him is a procession in- 
cluding the suppliant goddess, who follows her usual 
companion, the " figure with the mace/' This figure 
wears a royal turban and has the distinctive 
windswept beard and short garment worn by kings 
such as Naram-Sin in scenes of war (see No. 109). 3 
He also wears bracelets, and in addition to the mace 
held toward his body he is armed with a harpe, or 
sickle sword, carried in the right hand. This figure 
has most recently been identified by Franz Wigger- 
mann as a guardian divinity, the Udug-spirit who, 
along with the goddess Lama, protected temple 
doorways. 4 He stands behind another figure in 
nearly identical dress (lacking only the pleating on 
the fringed panel of the kilt). This warrior has his 
arm raised to wield his harpe in a smiting gesture 
and stands on one leg of a nude enemy, who has 
been brought to his knees. The subdued man has a 
pointed beard and a distinctive cap with a flat brim 
and earflaps; a long, curling element that emerges 
from the top may be his hair or part of the hat. 
Above him, two tiny suppliant goddesses stand 
beneath a crescent and a sun disk. 

There have been many attempts to identify war- 

Seals of the Old Elamite Period \ 113 

riors represented with one leg raised in an ascending 
posture as Ninurta or Nergal, major gods associated 
with fertility and deaths An identification as Nergal 
would agree with the later Elamite inscription on the 
seal, probably added at Susa, 6 which names the seal 
owner as "Kuk-inzu, scribe, son of Apikupi[?]lua / 
servant of [the god] Nergal. "7 Wiggermann, how- 
ever, states that the Udug-spirit may also appear in 
the "killing posture" of a warring king, and some 
scholars have interpreted the scene as a sequential 
narrative with the same figure shown twice. 8 Amiet 
has noted that the owner of this seal may be the 
same Kuk-inzu who is the father of "Ahuwaqar, ser- 
vant of Nergal," a man who owned two seals en- 
graved with presentation scenes including a suppliant 
goddess. 9 

We cannot assess the social significance attached 
to the ownership of a fine seal brought to Susa from 
Babylonia or the Mari region of northeastern Syria 
(under Elamite control for a short time) on which 
the scribe, a devotee of Nergal, may have identified 
his god. Nergal, the Mesopotamian god of the un- 
derworld and protector against war and pestilence, is 
one of a number of Mesopotamian deities who were 
mentioned on seal inscriptions at Susa. They coex- 
isted with the gods and goddesses of the Elamite 
pantheon, who were not only named in numerous 
inscriptions but were also occasionally depicted with 
their distinctive attributes on objects dating from the 
time of the Early Dynastic period through the sec- 
ond and first millennia B.C. (see Nos. 55, 76, 80, 
and figs. 6 and io, pp. 6, 9). 

1. Amiet, 1972a, pp. 226, 232, no. 1769, pi. 162; M. Rutten, 
MDP 30 (1947)/ pi. 11:4, where the seal is illustrated without 
information regarding findspot; Rutten, 1950, p. 173, no. 32; 
Bdrker-Klahn, 1970, p. 143, no. 118. 

2. Amiet, i960, p. 215, fig. 1; Parrot, 1959, pp. 194-97. 

3. Wiggermann, 1985-86, p. 25. Some of these features appear 
on other seals from Mari with scenes of war: see Amiet, 
i960, p. 230, where one figure in a short garment wears a di- 
vine headdress. 

4. Wiggermann, 1985-86, pp. 5-7, 23-27. 

5. Solyman, 1968, pp. 95-96, 108-10; Porada and Basmachi, 
1951, pp. 66-68; Frankfort, 1939, p. 167, pi. 28a, c, d. 

6. For a discussion of the relationship between image and legend 
in identifying deities on seals, see Wiggermann, 1985-86, 

pp. 5' 6 n - 7- 

7. Ku-uk-in-zu dub.sar 
dumu A-pi-ku~pi[l]4u-a 
arad d Ne~eri ir gal 

(Translation and transliteration provided by Matthew W. 
Stolper). Amiet, 1972a, pp. 226, 232, no. 1769. 

8. Wiggermann, 1985-86, p. 25; Amiet, 1972a, p. 226. For a 
discussion of this type of narrative composition, see Winter, 
1981, p. 10. On the Susa seal the warrior wields only a harpe, 
as on a clay plaque from Tell Harmal, see Opificius, 1961, p. 
260, no. 480. On other examples he also holds a multi-headed 
mace and confronts the figure with the mace: see Frankfort, 
1939, pi. 28a! 

9. Amiet, 1972a, p. 226, nos. 1689, 1693. 


ii 4 

The Old Elamite Period 

73 Cylinder seal with presentation scene; 
inscription naming the rulers ebarat 
and shilhaha 


H. iVs in. (2.7 cm); diam. 5 /s in. (l.y cm); 
string hole 3 Ae in. f.45 cm) 
Old Elamite period, 20th century B.C. 
Sb 6225 

This seal is carved with one of the best-known 
themes in the large corpus of Sumerian glyptic, the 
presentation scene, in which a goddess leads a male 
figure by the hand toward a seated god or king. 1 
During the Ur III period of the late third millen- 
nium B.C. in Mesopotamia, a time of highly central- 
ized authority, 2 this imagery was pervasive on seals 
of public officials. Such seals persist into the Isin- 
Larsa period of the early second millennium B.C., 
with a suppliant goddess replacing the interceding 
deity 3 It has been suggested that seal owners and 
even rulers in presentation scenes are given specific 
features. 4 

This seal retains the earlier Mesopotamian for- 
mula, but differences in style and iconography mark 
it as a product of Elam. At the right (as seen in the 
impression) is a seated male figure extending a coni- 
cal cup before a goddess wearing a frontal multiple- 
horned crown and a flounced robe. She leads by the 
hand a man in a long garment with a fringed hem, 
whose right arm is bent in the gesture of a wor- 
shiper. The seated figure lias a (distinctively Elamite) 
rather large head with flat, caplike hair, and is 
bearded. (See fig. 56, p. 258, for a later, Middle 
Elamite engraving of a seated ruler with similar fea- 
tures.) He lacks the brimmed hat of the Mesopota- 
mian ruler and the divine horned miter, but wears 
the god's flounced robe; however, he sits on a simple 

stool. Before him is a small bird, and a crescent and 
disk(?) are in the field above. A four-line inscription 
identifies the ruler Ebarat and the seal owner(?) 
"Kuk-Kalla, son of Kuk-sharum, servant of 

Ebarat II was the ninth ruler of the dynasty of 
Shimashki and the probable founder of the suk- 
kalmah line in the twentieth century B.C. ; his son 
Shilhaha (see Nos. 181, 184) probably also attained 
the position of grand regent, or sukkalmah. 6 One 
assumes that the seal owner who named both rulers 
on his seal was a high official. In contrast to other 
contemporaries, he used a seal with an older type of 
presentation format; in Mesopotamia, this format 
may have been used by functionaries below the 
highest-level officials who had direct access to the 
ruler. 7 Such distinctions may not have been signifi- 
cant at Susa. 

1. Franke, 1977, pp. 6iff. 

2. See Winter, 1987, p. 74 n. 18, for a discussion of the relation- 
ship between uniformity in seal design and systemic cohesion 
in the Ur III state. 

3. Collon, 1986, p. 60. 

4. Winter, 1987, pp. 79ft. 

5. E-ba-ra-at lugal 
Ku-uk- d Kal-la 
dumu Ku-uk-sa-rum 
arad Si-il-ha-ha 

(Translation and transliteration provided by Matthew W 
Stolper). Amiet, 1972a, p. 218, no. 1685, and nos. 1687, 1689 
for two other seals from Susa, perhaps of temple personnel, 
which have very similar imagery 

6. For a discussion of the tripartite rule by Ebarat, Shilhaha, 
and Attahushu, see Number 184; Stolper, 1982, pp. 54ff. ; 
Lambert, 1979, pp. 16-17. Va ^ at ( 1 99 ' P 12 -4l considers 
Attahushu to be a usurper and not the biological son of 
Shilhaha, and modifies the interpretation of tripartite rule. 

7. Winter, 1987, p. 76. 


Modern impression 

Seals of the Old Elamite Period | 115 

74 Cylinder seal with seated figures, one 
under a vine 

Bitumen compound 

H. 1V4 in. (3.3 cm); diam. V 4 in. (1.8 cm); string hole 
V16 in, (.4 cm) 

Old Elamite period, early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 1515 

on a tufted stool and wearing a flounced garment, 
both marks of divinity on Ur III seals. His hair ar- 
rangement is distinctive. Two females in voluminous 
flounced robes appear to sit in attendance with arms 
extended toward him. The figure before him, receiv- 
ing a flower, may be his "beloved wife," as men- 
tioned in the inscription. 4 A seal impression on a 

One version of the Mesopotamian presentation 
scene, showing a figure standing directly before the 
king, has been transformed into a distinctly Elamite 
image on this rather crude seal made of bitumen 
compound, the popular local material. 1 Two seated 
figures are depicted with their right (in the impres- 
sion) arms extended, holding cups; before them 
stands a male figure in a long robe next to a table, 
above which is a bird. While the first seated figure, 
probably the ruler, wears a wrapped robe and sits on 
a throne, the second, perhaps his queen, is enveloped 
in a wide, flounced garment and is elevated on a plat- 
form beneath an overhanging vine. In the field are a 
crescent and a spade or dagger. 

This distinctive scene has parallels on other seals, 
such as one in the Metropolitan Museum where the 
seated female is much smaller than the seated male 
(fig. 3 7). 2 On a stamp seal excavated at ancient An- 
shan (Tal-i Malyan), an image of a lady under an 
arbor and a standing figure appear. A jar(?) sealing 
from the site has the impression of a cylinder seal 
showing a couple flanked by two standing figures 
who hold the ends of the vine canopy. 3 

Other seals depict only the royal figures without 
the outdoor setting and approaching official. One 
important example has been identified, on the basis 
of its inscription, as the royal seal of the great ruler 
Ebarat, who founded the Sukkalmah dynasty (see 
No. 73). On this finely worked piece (fig. 38), made 
of chalcedony, the king is the central figure, seated 

Figure 37. Seal and modern impression showing seated male and fe- 
male figures and a vine. Seal: Iran(?), Old Elamite period, early 2nd 
millennium B.C. Serpentine, H. iV 4 in. (3.3 cm). The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, Purchase, The Howard Phipps Foundation Gift, 1987 

Figure 38. Modern impression of the seal of Ebarat. Seal: Iran, Old 
Elamite period, 20th century B.C. Chalcedony H. iVs in. (2.8 cm). 
Durham, Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art, University 
of Durham, N2410 


Modern impression 

n6 | The Old Elamite Period 

tablet from Susa shows a female in a full robe facing 
a larger seated male figure who holds a flowing vase; 
it is inscribed with the name of Pala-ishshan, suk- 
kalmah, or grand regent, who ruled some years af- 
ter Ebarat in the twentieth century b.c.s 

The image of a female figure enveloped in a 
wide, fleecy robe is not restricted to seals. It 
achieves its fullest expression on small stone sculp- 
tures from Afghanistan and on a silver vase said to 
come from the area of Persepolis (fig. 9, p. 8). 6 The 
vase, with a linear Elamite inscription, is datable to 
the time of Puzur-Inshushinak in the late third mil- 
lennium (see p. 87); it depicts a seated and a stand- 
ing female, wearing similar garments, who are 
interpreted as devotee and goddess. 

On the monumental rock carving from 
Kurangun near Malyan, probably dating to the sev- 
enteenth century B.C., a female deity with a horned 
headdress and a wide robe sits behind a god who is 
elevated on a double platform and serpent throne 
(fig. 10, p. 9). The god holds a rod and ring(?) with 
flowing waters that form a canopy over the couple; 
this illustration of divinities provides a parallel to 
the scene with royal figures (?) under a grape arbor. 
Seals with this imagery may have had a specific pur- 
pose, different from that of other Old Elamite seals 
depicting the ruler before his god (see No. 76). 


1. Amiet, 1972a, p. 248:1515, pi. 169. 

2. Steve, 1989, pp. 20 ff., fig. d. 

3. Sumner, 1974, p. 172, fig. 12, 1 (Kaftari period, dating ca. 
2000-1700 B.C.); Centre Iranien de Recherche Archeologique, 
Exposition des Dernieres Decouvertes Archeologiques 
1976-1977 ([Teheran], 1977), p. 51, no. 68. According to 
Holly Pittman, other sealings from the site have similar 

4. Lambert, 1979, pp. 43 ff., and Porada, 1990, pp. 171 ff.; Steve, 
1989, pp. i6ff., assigns the seal to Ebarat I, who ruled about 

2040 B.C. For the chronology of the early Sukkalmah period, 
see Vallat, I989d, pp. 23 ff.; idem, 1990, pp. 119ft. 

5. The owner of the seal was the royal scribe Illituram; Vallat, 
i989d, pp. 23-24, referred to by Porada, 1990, p. 172; Vallat, 
1990, p. 127. 

6. M.-H. Pottier, 1984, pis. 36-40; Hinz, 1969, pi. 5, pp. nff., 
with an inscription naming the goddess Narundi. 

75 Cylinder seal with three figures in wide 


Bitumen compound 

H. iVs in. (2.8 cm); diam. 5 /s in. (1.5 cm); string hole 
Vs in. f.35 cm) 

Old Elamite period, early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 1333 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The wide skirts of the three standing figures on this 
seal seem somehow related in form to the volumi- 
nous garments worn by kings and queens on Old 
Elamite seals. 1 These bearded(?) personages have 
flat, caplike hair. Their arms are extended, one 
downward, the other raised and holding a triangular 
object that could be a dagger. Their skirts are ankle- 
length and are vertically striated, perhaps pleated 
rather than flounced. If pleated, the garments were 
probably quite different in texture from the fleecy 
clothing worn by seated dignitaries and deities. 

This is one of a number of similar seals executed 
in a linear style characteristic of the glyptic made of 
bitumen compound in the early Sukkalmah period. 2 
An example found in a deposit in the Inshushinak 
temple precinct on the Susa Acropole has the figure 
of a nude male added to the procession. 3 

It is interesting that these seals, although made 
in Elam, seem related to a series of cursory linear- 
style seals found in Syria and Anatolia that are dat- 


Modern impression 

Seals of the Old Elamite Period | 117 

Figure 39. Drawing of a seal impression depicting a procession of fig- 
ures. Seal: Karahoyiik, Anatolia, ca. 19th century B.C. Black stone, 
H. 5 /s in. (1.6 cm). Konya, Turkey, Archaeological Museum 

able to the early second millennium B.C. Those 
western examples depict three or four identical fig- 
ures, generally proceeding left rather than right (in 
impressions), some of them carrying objects that re- 
semble spades, daggers, or plants in the front raised 
hand (fig. 39). 4 Although their fringed garments 
seem to be quite different from the Elamite wide 
skirts, the large plants and snakes in the field can be 
paralleled on an unexcavated Elamite seal. It shows a 
figure in a wide pleated skirt, wielding a dagger in 
one hand and holding a snake in the other and facing 
two horned animals, possibly in some ritual 
encounter. ^ 

1. Amiet, 1972a, p. 256, no. 2001, pi. 175; Rutten, 1950, p. 176, 
no. 53; Borker-Klahn, 1970, pp. 130-31. 

2. Amiet, 1972a, nos. 2001-6. 

3. MDP 7 (1905), pi. 22:7. The diverse "foundation offerings" of 
this temple are catalogued by Mecquenem, 1905a, pp. 6iff.; 
included are a number of Mesopotamian and Elamite seals of 
various periods and styles. 

4. Mazzoni, 1975, pp. 2iff., 40 n. 79, pi. 2. 

5. Collon, 1987, p. 56, no. 230. 

76 Sealed legal tablet with deity on snake 
throne and worshiper; inscription 
naming tan-uli 


H. 2V4 in. (6.9 cm); w. 2% in. (5.8 cm) 
Impressed by a seal of h. 1V2 in. (3.7 cm) 
Old Elamite period, ljth century B.C. 
Sb 8748 

This fragment of a legal tablet from Susa preserves a 
partial impression of a seal inscribed with the name 
"Tan-u [li], the sukkalmah, the sukkal of Elam and 
Shimashki, sister's-son of Shilhaha." 1 The seal is 
carved with the well-modeled image of a god with 

long hair and a flat cap, seated above a niched plat- 
form on a coiled snake that has a bearded human 
head. A small snake is held in the deity's left hand, 
while streams appear to flow from an object in his 
extended right hand which may be a rod and ring, 
Mesopotamian symbols of divine (just) authority. 
The streams flow into the hands of a standing fig- 
ure, probably Tan-Uli himself, who ruled Elam in 
the early seventeenth century b.c. z 

Similar imagery is present in impressions of 
seals of regents and court officials on other early- 
second-millennium tablets from Susa and is promi- 
nently displayed on the rock relief of Kurangun (fig. 
10, p. 9). 3 Although derived from Mesopotamian 
iconography that served to legitimize the power of 

Drawing omits inscription 

n8 The Old Elamite Period 

the ruler (No. no and fig. 44, p. 160), Elamite fea- 
tures include royal coiffures and divine headdresses, 
a distinctive platform terminating in hornlike forms, 
and the snake throne. 4 The association of water and 
snakes is a prominent feature on Elamite monu- 
ments, most notably on the Untash-Napirisha stele, 
on which the ruler is depicted before a god holding a 
scaly-textured rod and ring and probably the head of 
a serpent-dragon. A coiled snake with a dragon's 
head is reconstructed in a drawing by Miroschedji as 
the deity's throne (see fig. 42, p. 128). 

The god on a serpent throne, who bestows 
the right to rule, has been thought to be either 
Napirisha, sometimes considered the highest god in 
the Elamite pantheon, or Inshushinak, "the lord of 
Susa." His identity, however, is not clear from tex- 
tual or iconographic evidence. 5 On seal impressions 
of the Sukkalmah period, no deities are named along 
with the seal owners. A later, fifteenth-century seal 
impression from Haft Tepe (ancient Kabnak) with 
similar imagery is inscribed with the name of Tepti- 
ahar, king of "Susa and Anshan" and servant of 
both Inshushinak and another deity, Kirwasir. An- 
other impression from this site, matched by one at 
Susa, depicts the god on a serpent throne approached 
by another deity; the inscription invokes not only 
Inshushinak but also Napirisha (fig. 40). 6 While 
the stele of Untash-Napirisha is dedicated to 

Inshushinak, one cannot be certain that the god 
with ophidian associations was always the same de- 
ity, and indeed, on the rock relief at Naqsh-i 
Rustam, two gods sit on coiled snake thrones. 


1. Tan-u~[li] 

SUKKAL N [iM.UA-tim] 

[u] Si-mas-ki 

dumu.nin-sw {sa} Si- il- [ha-ha] 

The translation and transliteration were provided by Matthew 
Stolper, who follows the reading by Vallat (1989c, p. 92, no. 
117), which corrects the translation of M. Lambert in Amiet, 
1972a, no. 2330. 

2. Carter and Stolper (1984, pp. 24ft ) discuss three simul- 
taneously held sukkalmah offices (and see above, p. 81); as 
the sukkalmah of Elam and Simashki, Tan-Uli would have 
been co-regent. However, Vallat (1990, p. 124) discusses the 
complexities of interpreting the evidence for this system. 

3. No examples occur at the nearby site of Malyan (Anshan). For 
a survey of this material, see Miroschedji, 1981a, pp. iff.; 
Amiet, 1980b, p. 138, no. 10. 

4. For Mesopotamian seals with a deity with the rod and ring 
next to a worshiper holding streams or pouring water into a 
vessel, see Collon, 1986, nos. 372-74. 

5. Amiet (1973b, p. 17) believes that this figure on royal seals 
must be the chief god, Napirisha; Miroschedji identifies him 
as Inshushinak. For a discussion of the identification of 
Napirisha with the chief Elamite deity, Humban, see Mir- 
oschedji, 1980, pp. 129ff. 

6. Miroschedji, 1981a, pp. 15ft". 


Figure 40. Drawing of a seal impression on a clay tablet with deity 
before a god on a serpent throne. Tablet: Haft Tepe, Iran, Old Elam- 
ite period, ca. 17th century B.C. Clay, H. in. (3.9 cm). Teheran, 
Iran Bastan Museum 

77 Cylinder seal with deity, worshiper, and 
human-headed snake 

Bitumen compound 

H. 1 in. (2.4 cm); diam. Vz in. (1.2 cm); string hole 
Vs in. (.3 cm) 

Old Elamite period, early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 1053 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The modeled style of the Tan-Uli seal (No. 76) con- 
trasts with the hatched linear execution of a number 
of provincial-looking early-second-millennium seals 
found at both Susa and Anshan, most of them made 
of bitumen compound. 1 On this example, a large, 
coiled, human-headed snake looms behind a deity 
seated on a fleece-covered throne, who holds a cup 
toward a worshiper. A crescent and what appears to 
be a vessel are in the field. The snake is not depicted 
as an intimate part of the divine image, but its asso- 
ciation with the god may be inferred from a statu- 
ette where snakes rise up behind a god seated on a 

Seals of the Old Elamite Period \ 119 

77 Modern impression 

coiled serpent. 2 Other seals in this style include dif- 
ferent elements, such as lions, goats, or birds in a 
natural setting. These seals do not have inscriptions 
of Elamite rulers, but like seals that do, they carry 
designs based on Mesopotamian official iconogra- 
phy with the seated king approached by a stand- 
ing figure. ja 

1. Amiet (1972a, pp. 2391!) terms this the "Elamite popular 
style/' and later (idem, 1986a, p. 153) regards these seals as 
coming from Anshan, where the style predominates among 
the seal stones; Borker-Klahn (1970, pp. i68ff.) relates them 
stylistically to glyptic found in the Assyrian merchant colony 
of Kiiltepe (II, ca. 1920-1840 B.C.) in Anatolia. 

2. Miroschedji, 1981a, pi. 3. 

78 Persian Gulf stamp seal with two 

Burnt steatite 

diam. 7 /s in. (2.2 cm); h. Vs in. (.8 cm) 
Late jrd-early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 1015 

Excavated by Mecquenem 

78 Modern impression 

head to foot on opposite sides of the circular field, 
the center of which is marked by a lozenge. Their 
slightly modeled bodies are defined by a curving 
outline, and distinctive details, such as large dot- 
circle eyes and striated necks, are sharply cut. Simi- 
lar seals are known mainly from the Gulf region 
(and one example was found at Lothal in India). 5 
They were also exported to, and imitated at, the 
southern Mesopotamian city of Ur, 6 a site with cu- 
neiform texts that refer to the import of copper, 
semiprecious stones, and perhaps pearls from Dil- 
mun. 7 They are datable to the end of the third and 
the beginning of the second millennium B.C. 8 That 
is the period when one elaborate Persian Gulf seal 
depicting a Mesopotamian-derived "banquet scene" 
was stamped on an Old Babylonian contract between 
two merchants. The tablet, written in the time of 
Gungunum, ruler of Larsa in the late twentieth cen- 
tury B.C., is in the Yale Babylonian Collection.? The 
document from Susa mentioning a Dilmunite mer- 
chant and ten minus of copper dates to the same 
period. 10 


Many objects found at Susa reflect contacts with the 
Persian Gulf region. A number of foreign seals are 
executed in the distinctive style known mainly from 
sites in ancient Dilmun, on the islands of Bahrain 
and Failaka. 1 A mercantile document and a basket 
sealing were stamped with Gulf-style seals. 2 Elam- 
ite imitations of Gulf seals were made in the local 
bitumen compound. 3 

Perhaps the most characteristic type of Persian 
Gulf seal is illustrated by this piece, one of four 
burnt (whitened) steatite stamp seals found at Susa 
that have distinctive grooves and dot circles incised 
on a raised boss on the back. 4 The face of this seal is 
engraved with the figures of two goats crouching 

1. Amiet, 1986a, pp. 262ft; idem, 1972a, nos. 1716-19, 1975; 
pp. 269ft for mention of similar seals on the Arabian main- 
land. For a review of evidence for the location of Dilmun, see 
Potts, 1978, pp. 36, 47-48 n. 9. 

2. Amiet, 1986a, p. 265, figs. 85, 86; idem, 1973b, no. 240; 
idem, 1974a, p. 109; M. Lambert, 1976, p. 71. 

3. Amiet, 1972a, p. 222, nos. 1720-26, pi. 159. 

4. Amiet, 1986a, p. 266. 

5. Rao, 1986, pp. 376ft 

6. Gadd, 1932, pp. 191ft; Mitchell, 1986, pp. 278ft Ratnagar 
(1981, p. 199) is equivocal about a seal from Ischali. 

7. Oppenheim, 1954, pp. 6ft; for the identification of "fish- 
eyes" with pearls, see Howard- Carter, 1986, pp. 305ft 

8. For chronological evidence based on imported Mesopotamian 
seals and radiocarbon dating of Gulf contexts with seals, see 
Kjaerum, 1986, pp. 269-70; these seals belong to a second 
group of Persian Gulf seals. The earlier group relates more 

120 | The Old Elamite Period 

closely in form and design to Harappan glyptic of the Indus 
Valley: ibid., p. 269. 
9. Hallo and Buchanan, 1965, pp. 199ft.; Buchanan, 1967, 
pp. i04ff. : dated to ca. 1927 B.C. Kjaerum (1986, pp. 272^.) 
and Porada (1971, pp. 331 ff.) point out the possible Levan- 
tine and Anatolian elements in glyptic imagery of the Per- 
sian Gulf. 
10. M. Lambert, 1976, pp. 71 ff. 

79 Persian Gulf cylinder seal with 
seated deity 

Burnt steatite 

H. i'/ti in. (2.7 cm); diam. 5 /s in. (1.4 cm); string hole 
l /s in. (.3 cm) 

Late jrd-early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 138} 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

cities of Susa and Ur were trading centers in close 
contact with ancient Dilmun, located in the Persian 
Gulf. 3 This contact, however, does not seem to have 
been limited to an exchange of goods. Francois Val- 
lat has noted, on the basis of textual evidence, that 
Enzak, the chief god of Dilmun, was one of a triad 
of deities worshiped on the Susa Acropole in the 
eighteenth century B.C. 4 Persian Gulf-style seals 
found at Susa and other foreign sites with Meso- 
potamian and Indus-derived themes incorporated 
into their iconography were created, some scholars 
believe, for Dilmunite traders living abroad. 5 

Very different, however, are the crude derivative 
stamp seals, probably made at Susa, that have 
grooves and dots on the back in imitation of seals 
from the Gulf. 6 


The Mesopotamian influence on glyptic from the 
Persian Gulf area is very clearly illustrated in this 
example, one of the few cylinder seals executed in 
this distinctive style. 1 Close parallels are found at 
Failaka, in the Gulf. 2 Adopted here are not only the 
Mesopotamian cylinder-seal shape but also the 
theme of a worshiper standing before a seated 
horned deity in a flounced(?) garment and a version 
of the contest scene with crossed animals. Peculiar 
iconographic details also appear, however, such as the 
nude worshiper with his hand in a pot; the two 
"masters of animals," one nude and one kilted, grasp- 
ing the animals' necks; and the snake framing the 
scene from above. 

Glyptic and textual evidence suggests that the 

1. Amiet, 1972a, no. 2021; Rutten, 1950, pi. 5, no. 39. 

2. Kjaerum, 1983, p. 155, no. 373, for one that may belong to 
the same workshop. For a corpus of Persian Gulf cylinder 
seals, see L. Al-Gailani Werr, "Gulf (Dilmun) style cylinder 
seals," Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 16 
(1983), pp. 199-201 (cited in Collon, 1987). 

3. For a reference to the earliest phase of Mesopotamian-Gulf 
contact, see J. Oates, 1977, pp. 22iff. 

4. Vallat, 1983, pp. 93 ff.; al-Nashef (1986, pp. 340 ff., p. 348) 
suggests that the god was indigenous to both areas. 

5. Parpola, Parpola, and Brunswig, 1977, pp. 154ft. 

6. Of interest are three examples from Susa: Amiet, 1972a, 
nos. 1723-25. These all have the same image of a nude figure 
with outspread legs but lack the second figure below that is an 
essentia] part of a distinctive erotic scene known from many 
seals of Failaka and Bahrain: Crawford, 1991a, p. 261, 

no. Ki6:29:8. Whorl shells, found at many Gulf sites, also 
occur at Susa: Amiet, 1986a, p. 278, no. 91. 


Modern impression 

lam reached unprecedented heights of political 
and military power late in the second millennium B.C. under the kings of Anshan and Susa. The 
actual formation of the Elamite empire is difficult to trace because sometime after the middle of 
the millennium, both written and archaeological documentation from Susa comes to a halt. The 
Sukkalmah dynasty and its unique system of shared rule seems to have disappeared. Archaeological 
surveys indicate that the intense agricultural activity characteristic of the early second millennium 
in Susiana and around Anshan diminished. Many small rural settlements were abandoned and the 
number and size of urban centers grew, making it likely that the economy of Elam increasingly 
depended on the herding of livestock, trade, and plunder. 1 

Although previously Susa had been the unquestioned center of settlement in the region, the most 
important finds from the middle of the millennium are at Kabnak (modern Haft Tepe), nineteen 
miles to the southeast, excavated by Ezat O, Negahban. 2 There a major temple complex and 
associated workshops were constructed about 1450 B.C. by Tepti-ahar, who used the title "king of 
Susa and Anshan/' Texts of the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries from Haft Tepe were still written 
in Akkadian, but the king's title and proper names they contain reflect an increasing "Elamization" of 
the written language. 

Another challenge to Susa's local supremacy arose under the Igi-halkid king Untash-Napirisha 
(ca. 1340-1300 B.C.), who constructed his new capital, Al Untash-Napirisha, or the city of Untash- 
Napirisha (modern Chogha Zanbil), twenty-five miles southeast of Susa on a previously unsettled 
plateau above the banks of the Diz River. The city, centered around a ziggurat, or stepped temple 
tower, two hundred feet high, was built at a strategic point along a road leading to the southeastern 
highlands. Thousands of baked bricks inscribed in Elamite cuneiform were used in its construction. 
Studies of these inscriptions suggest that the establishment of Al Untash-Napirisha was an ambi- 
tious attempt to replace Susa as the political and religious center of the Elamite kingdom. The city 
seems to have been a kind of federal sanctuary where the gods of the highlands and the lowlands were 
worshiped on an equal footing. To found such ecumenical complexes at Susa, with its long history of 
cultural traditions influenced by Mesopotamia, might well have been more difficult. The Middle 
Elamite kings may have established temple-cities throughout southwestern and south central Iran to 


122 | The Middle Elamite Period 

strengthen control of their kingdom, although none was as large as Al Untash-Napirisha. However, 
the city was never finished and was practically abandoned after the death of its founder. 

Susa regained its prominence less than a century later with the rule of the Shutrukid line. King 
Shutruk-Nahhunte I (1190-1155 B.C.) and his two sons, Kutir-Nahhunte and Shilhak-Inshushinak, 
battled the Kassite dynasty, which had ruled Mesopotamia since 1500, and were victorious. It was 
under the Shutrukid dynasty, in the last centuries of the second millennium B.C., that the Elamite 
kingship of Anshan and Susa reached the peak of its political supremacy The Shutrukids' success was 
based on their ability to exploit and control both Susiana and the highland kingdoms to the southeast. 
They also controlled the foothill roads leading northwest into Mesopotamia, which made it possible 
for them to extend their rule to Mesopotamia. 

The Shutrukid kings rebuilt the structures on the Acropole, replacing mud brick with baked 
inscribed bricks3 and glazed bricks (see the essay below), and adorned the sanctuary of Inshushinak 
with the famous monuments of Naram-Sin (No. 109) and Hammurabi (fig. 44). Through the display 
of these captured monuments and other war trophies they attempted to establish Susa's position as a 
great city in the Mesopotamian tradition and to legitimize their dynasty as the successors of the 
defeated Kassite kings who had ruled Mesopotamia for some four centuries. 4 

Little direct evidence exists to document the role that Susa played in the international court 
politics and trade of the Late Bronze Age. 5 The sophisticated levels of metal and ivory work and of 
glass and glazing technology evident at Susa point to the city's involvement in the processes of 
procuring raw materials and manufacturing the luxury goods and weapons that were commonly 
traded in the ancient Near East at that time. Although the Susian role in international exchange is 
unknown, techniques and styles characteristic of Susian work are reflected in artworks produced 
slightly later in Assyria and western Iran, 6 indicating that lowland Elamite craft traditions exerted a 
major influence on those cultures. 


1. Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 144-81; Schacht, 1987, pp. 180-84. 

2. See Negahban, 1991. 

3. The brick inscriptions of Shilhak-Inshushinak pay homage to the king's predecessors, who built or refurbished the temple of Inshushinak, 
and ask for blessings upon his progeny. These important historical documents are the major source of information about the chronological 
sequence of the previous rulers of Elam: Matthew W. Stolper in Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 41-42. 

4. This is well illustrated by a recut Babylonian stele (No. 117). Its original carving of a Mesopotamian ruler was reworked to represent an 
Elamite king, probably Shutruk-Nahhunte I, who is seen receiving the ring of kingship from a Mesopotamian deity. [For another dating of 
the reworking, see entry for No. 117. — Ed.] 

5. A single text records dynastic marriages of Elamite kings to Kassite princesses, demonstrating that Elamite royalty participated in the 
international network: van Dijk, 1986, pp. 159-70. [See also Steve and Vallat, 1989, pp. 223ft. — Ed.] 

6. See, for example, Irene Winter, A Decorated Breastplate from Hasanlu, Iran, University Museum Monograph 39, University of 
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1980), pp. 11-21. 

Royal and Religious Structures and 
Their Decoration 

From the earliest explorations and excavations at Susa 
in the nineteenth century, the site has yielded nu- 
merous inscribed bricks and objects attesting to the 
great piety of the Elamite kings. This religious fervor, 
which had political overtones, is especially well docu- 
mented in the Middle Elamite period. At that time 
many older monuments and temples were renovated 
and new ones were built, often using elaborate and 
sometimes new techniques. 

Among the Igi-halkid kings, Untash-Napirisha 
(ca. 1340-1300 B.C.) was the most active builder and 
restorer of sanctuaries, but the evidence found on the 
Acropole is from secondary contexts, often in later 
Shutrukid renovations. 1 The next noted builder, 
Shilhak-Inshushinak (ca. 1150-1120 B.C.) of the 
Shutrukid dynasty, proudly states that he renovated or 
built new monuments at Susa with baked brick, replac- 
ing the more usual crude brick masonry of his prede- 
cessors. He used molded terracotta bricks of a type 
originally made during the reign of his brother Kutir- 
Nahhunte (ca. 1155-1150) in decorative panels (No. 88). 

Shilhak-Inshushinak also freely employed an ar- 
chitectural faience, said to have been invented in the 
time of his father Shutruk-Nahhunte I (ca. 1190- 
1155), to embellish temples and gates. 2 The glazed 
bricks (up at aktinni) formed of this highly siliceous 
faience material and first made in the Shutrukid dy- 
nasty seem to have been reserved for special construc- 
tions: ones dedicated to Inshushinak (the suhter [inte- 
rior chapel], a door of a temple of Inshushinak, and a 
door called "door of my god Inshushinak"); gates for 
the deities Kiririsha and Ishnikarab (along with 
Lakamar, divinities associated with the underworld); 3 
and a temple for the goddess Beltiya (probably the 
Susian Inanna/Ishtar).^ 

Augmentation and reevaluation of the corpus of 
Elamite royal inscriptions, combined with analyses of 

known archaeological findspots, are increasing our un- 
derstanding of the physical layout of the Ville Haute 
(the Acropole) so sacred to the Elamites (fig. 41). 5 

Central and Western Acropole: The 
Temples of Ninhursag and Inshushinak 

The best-known and best-preserved structures are 
the temples of Ninhursag and Inshushinak in the cen- 
tral and western parts of the mound, respectively. 
The temple to the goddess Ninhursag, dedicated by 
Shulgi in the third millennium, remained important 
throughout the Middle Elamite period. 6 It contained 
the massive, cast-bronze statue of Napir-Asu, wife of 
Untash-Napirisha, found in an upper level of the main 
sanctuary (No. 83)/ as well as the bronze sit-shamshi 
sculpture inscribed by Shilhak-Inshushinak, found 
encased in plaster that, along with bricks, covered a 
tomb embedded in a wall (No. 87). 8 

The great temple dedicated to Inshushinak, chief 
god at Susa, was founded in the time of Shulgi and 
was constructed at the western edge of the tell. By 
the Middle Elamite period it was elevated above 
other Acropole buildings, and the majority of in- 
scribed bricks in the renovated walls and floors date 
to the reigns * of Untash-Napirisha and Shilhak- 
Inshushinak. 9 While excavators give elaborate de- 
scriptions of some of the architectural details (crenel- 
lated roofs and polychrome inlaid terracotta wall 
knobs) that are hard to verify, they also mention 
glazed inscribed relief brickwork on the main door- 
ways on the southeastern side of the temple of which 
we have examples. 10 This southeastern door could be 
the door of the temple of the god Inshushinak, men- 
tioned in the inscriptions as dedicated by Shilhak- 


124 I The Middle Elamite Period 

Figure 41. Site plan of the Acropole mound showing locations of major finds, by Suzanne Heim and Francpise Tallon 

Southern Acropole: The Vicinity of the 
Temple of Inshushinak 

Important finds were uncovered in the area to the 
south of the temple of Inshushinak, including the 
celebrated rich deposits originally linked with the 
foundation of the temple (Morgan trenches 23-28). 11 

The Inshushinak Deposit ("Trouvaille de la statuette 
d'or" Morgan trench 27) (Nos, 89-99) This im- 
portant group of objects includes gold, silver, and 
faience votary statuettes. The cache was found with 
animal bones on two rows of three glazed bricks each, 
on tightly packed earth. 12 

Vaulted Tombs Near the edge of the tell (Morgan 
trench 77) and in the area of some of the deposits, a 
brick massif contained three corbel-vaulted tombs 
with human skeletons on bitumen beds. The fill had 
bricks, animal bones, sherds, and, most important, two 
glazed wall knobs of Shilhak-Inshushinak.^ 

Columns and Lion Sculptures South of the tem- 
ple of Inshushinak and in the midst of the area with 
tombs and deposits, an inscribed brick column erected 
by Shutruk-Nahhunte I and other fallen columns were 
uncovered. The pavements and the high, thick walls of 
the area were constructed of reused building materials 
inscribed by Untash-Napirisha, Shutruk-Nahhunte I, 

Royal and Religious Structures | 125 

Kutir-Nahhunte, and Shilhak-Inshushinak. The 
greatest number of kudurrus (boundary stones) were 
found in the debris here 1 ! as well as large-scale glazed 
terracotta lions, no doubt guardians of the Middle 
Elamite precinct of the Inshushinak temple.^ 

Southwestern Structure 

A very large but poorly preserved structure was exca- 
vated in the southwestern end of the Acropole (Morgan 
trenches 77 through 15(3). It had been reconstructed 
from numerous inscribed bricks of several Middle 
Elamite kings found just to the north of it. Here some 
of the famous Mesopotamian monuments taken by 
Shutruk-Nahhunte I as booty from his successful 
campaigns, broken and dragged from their locations 
elsewhere on the Acropole, were uncovered. The Elam- 
ite king rededicated several of these works to In- 
shushinak. 16 The monuments, ranging in date from 
the Akkadian period (Nos. 107, 109) through the sec- 
ond millennium, included many kudurrus, among 
them the elaborately carved one of Melishipak 
(Melishihu), king of Babylon (No. 115), whose daugh- 
ter Shutruk-Nahhunte I appears to have married. 1 7 
Elamite bronze monuments were also found in this 
area — an altar with figures holding flowing vases (fig. 
12, p. 10) and a fragmentary relief with marching 
warrior gods. 18 The poorly preserved stele of Untash- 
Napirisha, which was originally dedicated by that 
ruler at Chogha Zanbil, 1 ? had been moved, perhaps by 
Shutruk-Nahhunte I, to this building as well (No. 80). 

The large southwestern building can be related to 
other constructions associated with the column of Shu- 
truk-Nahhunte I. Columns were found inside the larger 
rooms of the southwestern building (Morgan trenches 7 
and 7a) along with great quantities of charred wood. 
Morgan likened this architecture, in its building tech- 
niques, to the Persian apadana. 20 These Elamite col- 
umned rooms and/or landscaped courts could be early 
prototypes for the Persian columned halls. 

A number of important Elamite architectural ele- 
ments of faience come from this southwestern build- 
ing (most from Morgan trenches 7 and 7a): small 
blue, green, or white glazed bricks, either decorated or 
inscribed; molded, glazed bas-reliefs of draped human 
figures with bands of inscriptions; polychrome glazed 
wall plaques with checked patterns ; and glazed, mush- 
room-shaped wall knobs, some with inscriptions of 
Shilhak-Inshushinak. Morgan wrote that the glazed 
bricks and wall knobs found together seem to have 

decorated aediculas in the interior of the building 21 and 
that glazed bas-relief figures decorated the high, thick 
walls. 22 The excavators also found baked bricks with 
depictions in relief of humans and animals, which 
they said decorated such walls. 2 3 

Two steles probably erected on the Acropole by 
Shilhak-Inshushinak come from the southwestern 
building (the area of the last southernmost Morgan 
trenches 15a and (5). They mention the construction of 
a kumpum kiduia (exterior sanctuary) and a suhter 
(interior chapel) among other Acropole structures 
dedicated to Inshushinak. 2 4 The two steles seem to be 
on the outskirts of the entire religious complex, as if at 
the entrance to the precinct. Archaeological and tex- 
tual evidence of the Shutrukid dynasty suggests that 
the most probable site on the Acropole for the kum- 
pum kiduia with its inner suhter is the large south- 
western building. Glazed relief brick figures found 
here also have inscriptions mentioning the kumpum 
kiduia (fig. 13, p. 11). These figures have been inter- 
preted as representations of the royal family at a door- 
way on the exterior of the suhter, the repository of 
royal images. 2 ^ This doorway may have been the "door 
of my god Inshushinak" referred to in the texts. The 
suhter has been interpreted by Fran^oise Grillot as a 
chapel for a royal funerary cult within the exterior 
sanctuary (kumpum kiduia)* 6 Unglazed, molded 
bricks carrying inscriptions also naming a kumpum 
kiduia were found in considerable number on the 
Apadana mound (No. 88) ; it is likely that they refer to 
another exterior sanctuary. 

The southern tombs and deposits may have been 
related to the royal funerary cult function of the suhter 
and perhaps also associated with the secret, subterra- 
nean abode of Inshushinak (the hashtu hole or pit) 2 ? 
and his own funerary cult. The grove temples listed by 
Shilhak-Inshushinak on one of the two southern steles 
may also have played a role in the funerary rites 
connected with. the god and his dwelling place. 28 The 
great quantities of charred wood found along with 
columns may be evidence for some of these temples. 
The characteristic Elamite system of aqueducts and 
cisterns for maintaining groves, seen here and else- 
where at Susa, was probably an integral part of the 
plans of these temples and other structures. 2 ? 

Northern Acropole 

At the northern end of the Acropole, Morgan trenches 
3G and H13, 14, dug prior to the construction of the 

126 The Middle Elamite Period 

modern excavators' chateau, revealed the charred re- 
mains of a very large Elamite building. Walls of baked 
brick some seven feet high formed numerous small 
rooms of a building that had been reconstructed incor- 
porating many inscribed bricks of the Shutrukid kings 
and others. Here too, glazed, inscribed architectural 
faience bricks in different shapes were found, some 
decorated with parts of figures. 30 

Southeastern Acropole 

In the southeast, at the edge of the tell (the junction of 
Morgan trenches 16 and 17), a small temple of blue- 
green glazed bricks 16Y2 feet (5.1 m) square was exca- 
vated. In addition to bricks of the Neo-Elamite kings 
Shutruk-Nahhunte II (716-699 B.C.) and his brother 
Hallushu (Hallutash)-Inshushinak (698-693 B.C.) 
carrying dedications to the god Inshushinak^ 1 it con- 
tained other bricks, found reused in the walls, that 
were inscribed by Huteludush-Inshushinak (ca. 1120 
B.C.), brother of Shilhak-Inshushinak. 3 2 Therefore the 
original construction was probably Middle Elamite in 
date. A mixed group of glazed architectural elements 
found nearby includes inscribed knobs of Shilhak- 
Inshushinak and glazed wall plaques inscribed by 
Shutruk-Nahhunte (most likely the first of the two 
kings) dedicated to the deity Ishnikarab. 33 

The remaining glazed bricks and reliefs found on 
the Acropole mound belong to monuments that are 
unidentified or cannot be located at this time. In their 
entirety, the remains found on the Acropole mound 
make the account of the destruction of Susa (ca. 646 
B.C.) in the annals of the Assyrian conqueror Ashur- 
banipal all the more vivid: the ziggurat with blue- 
green glazed bricks torn down; the devastation of the 
royal tombs, both old and new; images of Inshushinak, 
the mysterious god who lived in a secret locale, and 
other gods taken to Assyria; the sacred groves, long 
closed to strangers, burned, their aura of secrecy and 
mystery shattered; and images of Mesopotamian gods 
that had previously been taken as booty restored to 
their homeland. 34 


On the Apadana, northeast of the Achaemenid palace, 
a temple of Inshushinak was excavated along with 
Elamite burials that surrounded and later covered part 
of it. The structure, 66 feet (20 m) square, had, at least 

at one end, a Middle Elamite wall (of which a 33-foot 
stretch was found) originally made up of inscribed 
terracotta relief bricks forming the representation of 
a frontal figure, a bull-man, and date palms (No. 88). 
A few bricks were found in situ, while others were 
discovered reused in aqueducts (some under the 
Achaemenid wall) and in later Achaemenid drains and 
walls. 35 These bricks have inscriptions of Kutir- 
Nahhunte and Shilhak-Inshushinak mentioning the 
kumpum kiduia (exterior sanctuary) of the god In- 
shushinak. 36 A few glazed relief bricks with figures 
were also found here. 37 These finds raise the question 
whether a kumpum kiduia was situated in this area. 

Ville Royale 

As on the Apadana, several Elamite funerary mounds 
with remains of house and temple constructions in 
their midst were uncovered on the Ville Royale by 
Roland de Mecquenem. The burials doubtless extend 
over a long period of time, since the temples under- 
went reconstructions and were actually moved as the 
cemeteries grew. 3 s Later excavations by Roman 
Ghirshman uncovered vaulted tombs containing fu- 
nerary terracotta heads on the Ville Royale. 

In the southwest Mecquenem reported finding a 
molded terracotta relief brick similar to the ones exca- 
vated on the Acropole and Apadana mounds. He used 
this evidence to identify a temple of Inshushinak in the 
area. 39 It is not clear, however, whether the brick comes 
from a wall or a cistern. It may have originally be- 
longed to a Middle Elamite structure nearby, which 
would make that a third Middle Elamite temple dedi- 
cated to the chief god Inshushinak by Kutir-Nahhunte 
and Shilhak-Inshushinak. 

The three main mounds at Susa — Acropole, 
Apadana, and Ville Royale — were clearly important 
locations for temples and sacred gates, as well as for 
tombs and funerary mounds. During the Middle 
Elamite period the Acropole and Apadana mounds 
were sites of major religious constructions, dating pri- 
marily to the reigns of Untash-Napirisha and rulers of 
the later Shutrukid dynasty. 



1. Labat, 1975, pp. 389-93; Cameron, 1936, pp. 100-102. 

2. Labat, 1975, pp. 487-88, 495-96; Frangoise Grillot, 1983, 
pp. 13-14; Steve, 1968, pp. 291-94. 

3. Grillot, 1983, pp. 21-23; idem, 1986, pp. 175, 179. 

Stone Sculpture | 127 

4. Steve, 1987, p. 33, no. 16. 

5. Mecquenem, 1911a, pp. 65-78; idem, 1911b, pp. 38-55; Cam- 
eron, 1936, pp. 96-131 passim; Labat, 1975, pp. 497~99- 

6. Labat, 1975, p. 497; Amiet, 1976c, pp. 50-52, figs. 12-13. 

7. Amiet, 1976c, p. 52; Mecquenem, 1911b, pp. 46-47. 

8. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 47 (the excavator first thought that the 
findspot was secondary in a Parthian tomb built into a wall but 
later identified it as Elamite — see Amiet, 1976c, p. 52); Amiet, 
1966, no. 297 (the location as intentional in the vault of an 
Elamite tomb); idem, 1988b, p. 107, no. 65; Elizabeth Carter in 
Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 166-67 (possibly as a "foundation 

9. Labat, 1975, pp. 497-98; Mecquenem, 1911a, pp. 68-6<); idem, 
1911b, p. 41; Jacques de Morgan, ''Temple of Susinak," Harper's 
Monthly Magazine 110, no. 660 (March, 1905), pp. 876, 878; 
Amiet, 1976c, pp. 48-50, fig. 11. 

10. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 41; Mecquenem and Pezard, 1911, p. 56; 
possibly also Morgan, i905d, p. 878. 

11. For the "foundation deposits": Morgan, i905d, p. 880; Mec- 
quenem, 1905a, pp. 61-130 passim. For funerary deposits/ 
burials: Mecquenem, 1943-44, p. 141; Amiet, 1966, p. 390; 
idem, 1976c, pp. 50-51, 48, fig. 10 (plan); idem, 1988b, 
pp. 101-2. 

12. Mecquenem, 1905b, passim; idem, 1980, p. 16; idem, 1943-44, 
p. 141; Amiet, 1966, pp. 416-21. 

13. Jequier, 1900, pp. 115-16, fig. 177. 

14. Morgan, 1905c, passim; idem, 1905c, p. 138. 

15. Lampre, 1905, pp. 164-65; Labat, 1975, p. 498; Mecquenem, 
1980, p. 16; Amiet, 1966, no. 402; idem, 1988b, p. 106, no. 64. 

16. Lampre, 1900, pp. 103-10, fig. 167; Jequier, 1900, pp. 114-24, 
pi. 2 (plan of trenches); Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 50; Labat, 1975, 
pp. 498-99. For the Melishipak kudurru: Seidl, 1989, no. 32. 

17. Steve and Vallat, 1989, pp. 226-29. 

18. Lampre, 1900, p. 104, fig. 167A, b; Amiet, 1966, nos. 291, 305; 
idem, 1988b, pp. 97 no. 56, 108 no. 66. 

19. Vallat, 1981, p. 32. For fragments found in Morgan trenches 73 
and 15a, 1899-1902, see Jequier, 1900, p. 124, pi. 3d; idem, 
1905, pi. 1A. 

20. Morgan, 1898, p. 50; idem, 1900b, p. 20241. For additional 
evidence for columns and construction techniques on the 
Acropole: Morgan, 1900a, p. 197, fig. 424; Mecquenem, 1911b, 
p. 73; Labat, 1975, p. 499. For other pre-Persian columned 
structures excavated in northwestern Iran (Hasanlu) and cen- 
tral western Iran (Godin Tepe, Nush-i Jan, and Baba Jan): 
Dyson, 1989, pp. 107-27; Muscarella, 1988, pp. 16, 19 n. 4, 
207-8 especially n. 3. 

21. Morgan, 1898, pp. 46-50; Heuzey, 1898, pp. 675-76; Morgan, 
1900b, p. 20241; idem, 1900a, pp. 197-98; idem, 1902b, p. 164; 
also Lampre, 1900, pp. 103-10; Jequier, 1905, pp. 38-39; Mec- 
quenem, 1905a, p. 104. 

22. Morgan, 1902b, p. 164. 

23. Morgan, 1898, p. 48; idem, 1900a, pp. 197-98; idem, 1900b, 
p. 20241; Jequier, 1905, pp. 38-39. 

24. Jequier, 1900, pp. 123-24; Konig, 1965, nos. 46-47 (steles nos. 
1 and 2); Grillot, 1983, pp. 15-16, 19. For a different interpreta- 
tion of the location of the sanctuary: M. Lambert, 1978, 
pp. 9-11. 

25. Grillot, 1983, pp. 22-23. 

26. Ibid., p. 11. 

27. Ibid., p. 5; the suhter and hashtu are associated on stele no. 3 of 
Shilhak-Inshushinak: ibid., p. 11, and Konig, 1965, no. 48. 

28. Grillot, 1983, p. 11. 

29. Labat, 1975, pp. 496-97, especially p. 499. 

30. Morgan, 1898, pp. 29-33, 76-77; idem, 1900b, p. 169; idem, 
1900c, pp. 92-95, figs. 139 bis, 144; pp. 96-97, plan 2. 

31. Jequier, 1900, p. 128; Morgan, 1905a, pp. 34-35, fig. 66; Cam- 
eron, 1936, p. 163 n. 21; Steve, 1987, p. 50 n. 154. 

32. Jequier, 1905, p. 38; cf. Labat, 1975, p. 500 n. 3, and Cameron, 
1936, p. 131. 

33. Jequier, 1900, pp. 126-27, fig. 295, pi. 6; Steve, 1987, p. 29, 
no. 11. 

34. Cameron, 1936, pp. 205-7; Amiet, 1966, pp. 350-51 (with 
J. M. Aynard's translation of the Louvre prism AO 19939)- 

35. Mecquenem, i92off. (Rapport), 1920-21, pp. 13-14, and 1923, 
p. 10; idem, 1922ft (Journal), March 24-30, 1922, and Febru- 
ary 19-March 2, 1923, Susa excavations; idem, 1922, 
pp. 117-18, 127-29; idem, 1924, p. 115; Unvala, 1928, 
pp. 179-82; Mecquenem, 1947, pi. 2:3, pp. 14-15; idem, 1980, 
pp. 23-24 (1912-13, 1913-14 seasons), 28-29 (1921-23 sea- 
sons); Amiet, 1966, no. 299; Grillot, 1983, p. 21 n. 84; Carter 
and Stolper, 1984, p. 157, fig. 13 (plan). 

36. Amiet (1988b, pp. 104-5) suggests that this building on the 
Apadana mound might be the kumpum kiduia. 

37. Unvala, 1928, p. 181. 

38. Mecquenem, 1943-44, P- x 33' pi- 1 (plan). 

39. Idem, 1920 ff. (Rapport), 1926, p. 17 (the massif near the east- 
ern ravine excavation). 

Stone Sculpture 

80 Stele of Untash-Napirisha 


Reconstructed n. 8 ft. yVs in, (262 cm); 
w. 51V2 in. (80 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 14th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 12 

The stele of Untash-Napirisha 1 is an inscribed royal 
monument of major importance for the period of the 
Igi-halkid dynasty and is of particular interest be- 
cause it adapts Mesopotamian religious imagery to 
depict Elamite mythology. It has been restored from 
five fragments found in the course of several excava- 
tion campaigns conducted between 1898 and 1909. 2 
In 1916 Maurice Pezard3 proposed the reconstruc- 
tion illustrated here, with an arching summit and 
four registers separated by guilloche borders. An ad- 
ditional small piece showing a serpent-throne is in 

The Middle Elamite Period 

Stone Sculpture \ 129 

Upper register 

storage at the Louvre. 4 Fragments of other similar 
steles are also known. s 

The subject represented on the upper register, a 
king standing before a seated deity, is well known on 
Mesopotamian steles (fig. 44, p. 160, and No. 110). 
Depicted here are Untash-Napirisha, identified by an 
inscription on his arm, and the great Elamite god as- 
sociated with snakes and flowing waters. 

The drawing by Pierre de Miroschedji (fig. 42) 
attempts to reconstruct completely the iconography 
of the stele. 6 It shows the god seated on a serpent- 
throne of a type known from a free-standing exam- 
ple in the Louvre. 7 In one hand he holds the head of 
a fire-spitting horned serpent and in the other hand 
the traditional emblems of divine power, the rod and 
ring (here marked with two different snake-scale 
patterns). The god wears a multiple-horned crown. 
He has one human and one animal ear. A four-line 
Elamite inscription, now fragmentary, was placed 
between the two figures. 

In the second register three figures are repre- 
sented. From the names inscribed on their arms we 
know that the female behind the king is Napir-Asu, 
his queen, and the one in front of him is the 
priestess U-tik, believed by some scholars to be the 
king's mother. 8 

The third register depicts two minor goddesses 
with single-horned headdresses who grasp diverging 
cordlike streams of water springing from flowing 
vases that are at various places in the design. The 
two goddesses, their bodies covered with scales of 
two different sizes and ending in fishtails, recall 
Neo-Sumerian goddesses with flowing vases, but, 
like the god on the upper register, they each have 

one human and one animal ear — an unusual, Elam- 
ite feature. 

Like the third register, the fourth register has a 
symmetrical composition. Two mouflon-men face 
each other on either side of a sacred tree, clasping its 
leaves. These mouflon-men can be regarded as a lo- 
cal adaptation of the Mesopotamian bull-man, and 
wear similar belts. 9 

Remains of two snakes coil up both sides of the 
stele, one covered with scales, the other with a dot- 
ted pattern. Their heads, as shown in the reconstruc- 
tion, were probably identical to the fire-spitting 
horned serpent-dragons preserved in the upper regis- 
ter. In placement, they recall the contemporary 
bronze table with serpents running along the edges 
in a similar way (fig. 12, p. 10). 10 

Lower registers 

130 I The Middle Elamite Period 

In the dedicatory inscription on the upper register, 
the king Untash-Napirisha prays that the god of 
siyan kuk, Inshushinak, grant him "a royalty and a 
dynasty of happiness/' 11 Siyan kuk was the term 
used to designate the sacred precinct of the holy 
city of Chogha Zanbil built by Untash-Napirisha. 
Francois Vallat notes that the stele, like other monu- 
ments/ 2 was originally set up at Chogha Zanbil and 
later brought to Susa. We also know that the 
Chogha Zanbil temenos underwent a change during 
the reign of Untash-Napirisha. At first limited to a 
large precinct with two temples dedicated to the god 
Inshushinak, the construction was later transformed 
into a ziggurat with a temple at the summit dedi- 
cated to both Inshushinak, the god of the Susiana 
plain, and Napirisha, god of the Elamite highlands 
(fig. 11, p. 9). The dedicatory inscription on the stele 
to a single god and the early spelling of his name 
suggest that the stele should be dated to the first 
phase of the Chogha Zanbil temenos. *3 

The iconography of the stele raises several points 
meriting discussion. A number of the god's attrib- 
utes seem to be more evocative of the mountain god 
Napirisha than of Inshushinak, who is named in the 
inscription. In fact, the god with serpent and flow- 
ing water made its appearance on the rock reliefs in 
the highland region of Pars, at Naqsh-i Rustam and 
Kurangun (fig. 10, p. 9). x 4 This deity, related to the 
Mesopotamian water god Enki/Ea, is the only Elam- 
ite god represented with specific attributes. Other 
deities of the Elamite pantheon, although designated 
by name, were never clearly differentiated in Elam- 
ite imagery On the stele of Untash-Napirisha the 
great Elamite god is associated with Ea's traditional 
minions, fish-goddesses with flowing vases. How- 
ever, the streams of water are depicted in a strange 
cordlike fashion, and they crisscross over the god- 
dess's chest like the two snakes on a sculpture in the 
Louvre. 15 If the serpents and water motifs were in- 
terchangeable, it is possible thatthe snakes coiling 
up the sides of the stele are the equivalent of the wa- 
ters of the apsu, that great liquid body encircling the 
world. 16 Ea also has nude heroes as acolytes. On the 
stele they appear to have been replaced by mouflon- 
men, who may be the equivalent of Mesopotamian 
bull-men, fantastic beings usually associated with 
the sun god in the art of Mesopotamia. 

Thus the Elamites drew inspiration from Meso- 
potamian religious iconography but maintained a 
distinctive imagery of their own. 


1. See also Rostovtzeff, 1920, pp. 113-16; Contenau, 1931, 
vol. 2, pp. 908-12, figs. 626-28; Strommenger, 1964, 
pi. 181; Porada, 1965, p. 64, figs. 39, 40; Borker-Klahn, 
1982, no. 124; Amiet, 1988b, pp. 93-94, figs. 53-54. 

2. Lampre, 1900, pi. 3, fig. d; Jequier, 1905, pi. 1, A; Toscanne, 
1911, pi. 6, figs. 1-4. 

3. Pezard, 1916, p. 120, fig. 1. 

4. Toscanne, 1911, pi. 6, fig. 6. 

.5. See nos. 8i, 82; Miroschedji, 1981a, pi. 9, figs. 1-3. 

6. Miroschedji, 1981a, pi. 8. 

7. Amiet, 1966, no. 286, a-c. 

8. Pezard, 1916, p. 122. 

9. For a representation of a Proto-Elamite mouflon-man, see 
the much earlier 4th-millennium copper sculpture in the 
Brooklyn Museum (Amiet, 1980a, fig. 26). 

10. Amiet, 1966, no. 291. 

11. Vallat, 1981, p. 28. 

12. Vallat and Grillot, 1978, p. 82 n. 3. 

13. Vallat, 1981, pp. 30-31. 

14. Amiet, 1973b, p. 17. 

15. Amiet, 1966, no. 289. 

16. Amiet, 1980c, p. 151. 

81 Relief fragment with head of a 


H. 6V2 in. (16.5 cm); w. n 5 /s in. (29.5 cm); D. 3 in. 
(7.5 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 14th century B.C. 
Sb 8559 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

82 Relief fragment with head of a 


H. yV 4 in. (18.4 cm); w. 9 7 /s in. (25.1 cm); D. 4V2 in. 
(11.4 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 14th century B.C. 
Sb 10294 

Excavated by Morgan, 1898-1900. 

These two stele fragments are carved with the heads 
of monstrous creatures, termed serpent-dragons. 1 
Traces of their patterned, snaky bodies are preserved, 
and each head, seen in profile facing to the left or the 
right, is characterized by a gaping mouth with 
pointed teeth, a large eye, a textured horn curving 
forward, and a drooping ear more appropriate for a 
quadruped. This fantastic version of the venomous 
sidewinding horned snake (Cerastes cornutus) 2 lacks 
a forked or flaming tongue, but otherwise is paral- 
leled on Middle Elamite representations of the divine 

Stone Sculpture | 131 


coiled-serpent throne (see entries for Nos. 76, 80). 3 
In the treatment of the horns and ears, the carving is 
similar to that of figures of the seated god and fish 
divinities on the Untash-Napirisha stele (No. 80). 
The divine couple represented on the Old Elamite 
(ca. 17th century B.C.) rock relief at Kurangun may 
also have animal ears (fig. io, p. 9). 4 

The Elamite serpent-dragon, with a serpent body 
and features that exaggerate the appearance of the 
bulbous-headed horned Cerastes snake, is most of- 
ten seen in Middle Elamite art but may have ante- 
cedents. 5 On eastern Iranian seals of the Akkadian 
period in the late third millennium, snakes — some 
with bulbous heads — emerge from the shoulders or 
arms of a seated divinity (fig. 8, p. 7). 6 The dragon 
with a snake's body differs considerably from Mes- 
opotamian, Proto-Elamite, and also Central Asian 
dragons that are quadrupeds with leonine and ophi- 
dian characteristics and may also have the wings and 
claws of an eagle. 7 On the impression of the seal of 
Kuk-Simut, an Elamite court official of the twen- 
tieth century B.C., the petitioner before the king 
holds an axe in the form of a horned(?), winged 
dragon (fig. 34, p. 107). The axe resembles an actual 
example found at Susa and thought to be an import 
from Central Asia. 8 Images of both the serpent- 
dragon and the Central Asian dragon appear to have 
been potent symbols at Susa, used on an axe that 
may be a symbol of royal authority and also embod- 
ied in the serpentine throne of one of the supreme 
gods of the Elamite pantheon. 9 

The Untash-Napirisha stele (No. 80), a large mon- 
ument, was reconstructed from five fragments found 
on the Susa Acropole. The fragments have no edges 
that match but are in an identical style and are con- 
vincingly related to one another by their guilloche 
borders and snaky frame. The two fragments of 
snake-dragon's heads, also in this style, lack addi- 


tional features that would allow us to place them in a 
larger composition. Nevertheless, their head posi- 
tions fit well with the reconstruction drawing of the 
heads surmounting the snaky bodies that frame the 
Untash-Napirisha stele. Indeed, the two fragments 
were originally thought to be part of this large mon- 
ument. 10 However, the fact that the dragon's heads 
are not quite the same size and the possibility that 
one is unfinished have led Pierre de Miroschedji to 
the conclusion that they come from two different 
steles. 11 This would mean that at least three steles 
executed in an identical style and probably with 
similar compositions were set up by Untash- 
Napirisha. Without a closer investigation of the 
shapes and material of these pieces and without in- 
formation on their findspots, which were not clearly 
recorded, it is not possible to assess the matter 


1. Jequier, 1900, p. 124, pi. 3b; Mecquenem, 1938b, p. 130, 
fig. 2. 

2. The Larousse Encyclopedia of Animal Life, Robert Cushman 
Murphy, ed. (New York, 1967), p. 327. 

3. Miroschedji, 1981a, pi. 9. 

4. Seidl, 1986, fig. 2a. 

5. Miroschedji (1981a, p. 4, pi. 2:4) notes that the divine 
serpent-throne in the Sukkalmah period has a human head, 
while later examples have serpent-dragon's heads. 

6. Porada, 1988, pp. i39ff., pis. 1-4. 

7. Van Buren, 1946, pp. 1-2. 

8. Amiet, 1986a, p. 286, fig. 107. For western Central Asian 
representations of the dragon depicted as a quadruped, see 
Pittman, 1984, pp. 76-77, fig. 36. 

9. See also the inscribed statue of a divinity holding two 
serpent-dragons: Miroschedji, 1981a, pp. 11-12, pi. 9:4. 

10. Mecquenem, 1938b, p. 130, fig. 2. Borker-Klahn (1982, 
pp. 174-75, fig. i24d, e) notes a disparity in size between 
the two figures. 

11. Miroschedji, 1981a, p. 11 and n. 38. 

132 I The Middle: Elamut Period 

Metal, Clay, and Ivory Sculpture 

83 Statue of Queen Napir-Asu 

Bronze and copper 

u. 50Y4 in. (129 cm); w. 28 V 4 (73 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, 14th century B.C. 
Aero pole; Sb 2731 
Excavated by Morgan, 1903. 

Discovered in January, 1903 in the so-called Ninhur- 
sag temple on the Acropole of Susa, this life-size 
statue 1 represents Napir-Asu, the wife of Untash- 
Napirisha, who was one of the most important kings 
of Anshan and Susa in the Middle Elamite period 
and was responsible for the construction of Chogha 
Zanbil. Although the head and left arm of the statue 
are sadly missing, it remains an exceptional work on 
account of its size and the technique of its manufac- 
ture, which continues to astound modern scholars. 

The queen wears a short-sleeved dress decorated 
with dotted circles; these probably represent embroi- 
dery work rather than appliqued disks of precious 
metal, because the latter would have been bigger. 
The bottom of the skirt is flared and consists of long 
wavy fringes held in place at the top by a thin strip 
decorated with dots and triangles inside squares. As 
on almost all contemporary statues, the fringes must 
have been slightly raised in front to reveal the feet. 
The skirt seems to have wrapped around the body so 
that its outer edge, a wide band decorated with a 
geometrical embroidery pattern and fringed, runs 
down the front below the queens hands. 

This garment, which is identical to the one seen 
on a faience figurine excavated in the temple of the 
goddess Pinikir at Chogha Zanbil, 2 is worn with sev- 
eral more unusual accessories. A close-fitting shawl- 
like garment, of the same embroidered material as 
the dress, is wrapped around Napir-Asus back and 
hugs her arm down to the elbow. It is held in place 
by a palmette-shaped clasp on her right shoulder 
and by a plain fibula at the middle of the upper arm. 
This curious garment is also worn by the praying 
queens seen on a glazed brick relief of the twelfth 
century B.C. that is inscribed with the name of 
Shilhak-Inshushmak and that apparently depicts the 
king, his wife, his father, and his brother. ^ 

A second overgarment is a long flounce that covers 
the upper half of Napir-Asus skirt in back and on 
the sides. Apparently made of fringes, it is sus- 
pended from a thin decorated strip at the waist anal- 
ogous to the one above the bottom fringes of the 

skirt. The flounce has a straight edge on the queens 
left side and a rounded contour on the right, and it 
is partially covered below her hands by a horizontal 
embroidered band similar to the wide vertical band 
described above. Protruding from this band on her 
right side is a triangular patch of long fringes. On 
the stele of Untash-Napirisha (No. 80), the queen 
and the priestess who flank the king are depicted 
wearing plainer flounces of this type that are not 
open in the front. Several terracotta figurines from 
Susa and Haft Tepe, which probably predate this 
statue, also have skirts partially covered by flounces 
with curved flaps crisscrossed in front. Unlike 
Napir-Asu s flounce, these are made of the same fab- 
ric as the rest of the clothing. The figurines also 
wear a shawl-like garment held to the dress by pins 
at the shoulders, although they cover only the fig- 
ures back and are not close-fitting. 4 

The queen wears a bracelet consisting of four 
plain bands on each wrist, and on her left ring finger 
a wide ring decorated with a chevron pattern on the 
flat middle part and a double ribbing on both edges. 
It is conceivable that she also had a necklace like the 
one that can be seen on her husbands stele, which 
has several rows of beads and a cruciform pendant of 
a type found in Kassite Babylonia. The statues head 
probably resembled contemporary representations of 
female heads, which usually have fairly voluminous 
hairdos (see Nos. 84, 86). 

An inscription on the front of the skirt is written 
in Elamite in the emphatic style typical for this type 
of text. In it the queen calls on the gods to protect 
her statue: 

I, Napir-Asu, wife of Untash-Napirisha. He who 
would seize my statue, who would smash it, who 
would destroy its inscription, who would erase my 
name, may he be smitten by the curse of Napirisha, 
of Kiririsha, and of Inshushinak, that his name shall 
become extinct, that his offspring be barren, that the 
forces of Beltiya, the great goddess, shall sweep down 
on him. This is Napir-Asus offering. . . .5 

Napir-Asu invokes the titular triad of the empire — 
Napirisha, the great god of Elam; Kiririsha, the 
great goddess; and Inshushinak, the god of Susa — as 
well as a deity referred to as Beltiya, or "My lady," a 
title that in Susiana seems to have been reserved for 
Ishtar, the goddess of love and also of war 6 83 

134 I The Middle Elamite Period 

The statue, found in the temple, served to perpet- 
uate the queen's prayer. The queen is represented 
standing, her right hand over her left in a gesture 
common to several depictions of high-ranking wor- 
shipers: the queen herself and the other female fig- 
ure flanking the king on Untash-Napirisha's stele; 
the queens on the glazed brick relief of Shilhak- 
Inshushinak; the faience figurine from Chogha Zan- 
bil mentioned above; and the king's companion on 
the Shikaft-i Salman relief that was usurped in the 
Neo-Elamite period by Hanni.7 Napir-Asu's fingers 
are long and well modeled, with incisions to indicate 
the knuckles; but there is a certain clumsiness in the 
rendering of the left thumb, which is extremely 
long and flat. 

Few statues of this size have come down to us, and 
even if a good number more were destroyed by pil- 
lage and reuse, it is likely that such works were 
quite exceptional. Of Untash-Napirisha himself we 
have only the bottom half of a white limestone 
statue, much smaller than Napir-Asu's and made of 
a simpler material (Louvre, Sb 62). We know, how- 
ever, that this statue of the queen, of which 3,760 
pounds {1750 kg) of metal remain, was not unique. 
It is one of a series of large Middle Elamite bronzes 
excavated at Susa that bear witness to the skill of the 
metalworkers of this period and to the might of the 
kingdom. Among the objects belonging to this se- 
ries in the Louvre are a sizable bronze table adorned 
with snakes and busts of deities with flowing vases 
(fig. 12, p. 10) 8 and two impressive cylindrical ob- 
jects of unknown use, one of them over 14 feet 
(4.36 m) in length and bearing an inscription of 

Already in the Akkadian period (2334-2154 B.C.) 
bronzeworkers of the Near East knew how to cast 
hollow statues of life-size proportions, and the tech- 
nique is often seen on small-scale examples found at 
Susa dating to the Middle Elamite period. The 
choice of the manufacturing procedure used for this 
statue, however, is hard to understand. A copper 
outer shell seems to have been cast in the lost-wax 
method over a bronze core. Metal analysis shows 
that the core consists of an average of 11 percent tin 
and is extremely homogeneous throughout, which 
means that it was manufactured in a single casting. 
The outer shell contains about 1 percent tin, and it 
too is highly homogeneous. The copper here, how- 
ever, contains higher proportions of lead, iron, silver, 
nickel, bismuth, and cobalt than the copper in the 
core. Copper core supports (drift pins) are still 

clearly visible both on the uncovered part of the core 
and between the core and the outer shell. 

Gammagraph analysis confirmed the solidity of 
the core and revealed the presence of a triangular 
stump under the intact shoulder symmetrical with 
the one that can be seen at the figure's left shoulder. 
The arm itself was solid cast with the rest of the 
outer shell. The head might also have been solid. 
The core is complete at the spot where the head was 
attached and contains remnants of a metal core 

It is not clear why bronze was used for the core 
instead of the usual clay, but the technique was ap- 
parently specific to Susian bronzeworkers. 9 Indeed, 
this procedure was used on a smaller scale for the 
busts of deities on the serpent table, mentioned 
above, which is probably contemporary with the 
Napir-Asu statue. 

The surface of the statue is executed with great 
care. Most of the details of the clothing were delin- 
eated in the wax, but the pointed dots, certain parts 
of the geometrical patterns, and the inscription were 
chased after casting. A vertical groove runs down 
the arm from the shoulder and along either side of 

83, detail 

Metal, Clay, and Ivory Sculpture | 135 

the skirt from the waist down to the bottom flounce, 
where it follows the wavy line of the fringe. Grooves 
such as these were used on smaller sculptures to 
hold the edge of a sheet of precious metal plating. 
Here no trace of gold or silver has been detected, but 
one wonders whether the outer shell was made of a 
softer metal in order to facilitate the application of 
gold foil that has since disappeared. 

In any event, study of the statue shows that every 
effort was made to produce an extraordinary monu- 
ment. First, the use of such a large quantity of 
metal, especially bronze, is unusual. Analyses of 
small copper statuary from second-millennium 
Susa have demonstrated that tin was generally used 
sparingly. 10 The innovative technique and technical 
prowess of manufacture are also utterly exceptional. 
The metalworkers used a bronze alloyed with 10 
percent tin, which permitted a practically flawless 
casting for an enormous amount of metal. Their sec- 
ond feat was casting the copper shell over this bronze 
core; nonalloyed copper is in fact extremely difficult 
to cast, but it is less brittle than bronze. 

Thus the skill of the metalworkers reinforced the 
protection of the gods over this statue, a monument 
that both by its weight and by the type of metal 
used for its shell was made to last. 11 


1. See Lampre, 1905, pp. 245-50, pis. 15-16; Frankfort, 1954, 
pi. 175; Porada, 1965, p. 61, fig. 37; Amiet, 1966, fig. 280; 
Spycket, 1981, pp. 313-14, pi. 204; Amiet, 1988b, p. 99, 
fig- 57- 

2. Ghirshman, 1968, pi. j, 1-3. 

3. Amiet, 1988b, p. 105, fig. 63. 

4. Amiet, 1966, fig. 245, a-b; Negahban, 1991, pi. 26, 
no. 184. 

5. Translation based on that in Konig, 1965, pp. 69-71. 

6. Steve, 1987, p. 33. 

7. Louis Vanden Berghe, "Les reliefs elamites de Malamir," 
IA 3 (1963), pi. 24. 

8. Amiet, 1966, fig. 291. 

9. An alternate method has been suggested to me in which the 
original statue would have been cast in wax over a clay block 
core. Later the clay core would have been removed and the 
central cavity filled with bronze, which has a lower melting 
point than copper. 

10. Tallon, Hurtel, and Drilhon, 1989. 

11. The metal analyses were made at the Research Laboratory of 
the Musees de France by Lo'ic Hurtel, who helped me write 
the technical part of this entry. The surface decoration was 
studied by Francois Lemaire and Angelique Laurent, who re- 
stored the statue under the auspices of the Metal Archaeol- 
ogy Laboratory in Nancy. 

Funerary Heads 

In a funerary practice peculiar to Susa, painted 
heads of unbaked clay were deposited in certain 
tombs, generally vaulted tombs containing collective 
burials. The first such heads were discovered by 
Roland de Mecquenem, who unearthed more than 
twenty of them between 1912 and 1939. The mate- 
rial was so fragile that adequate conservation was not 
always possible. Most of the heads that could be pre- 
served were published by Pierre Amiet in E/ara. 1 
The one in the best condition and also the best 
known is a head of a bearded man with hair coiffed 
over his forehead in the Elamite style (Louvre, 
Sb 2836). 

The heads are almost life-size. They were mod- 
eled in clay probably at the time of death, and then 
painted; the eyes were made of terracotta or bitumen 
and set into the head. Sometimes all that remains of 
an otherwise ruined head is the eyes. At the bottom 
of the cylindrical neck there is frequently a hole that 
allowed the head to be set on a pole, perhaps to sup- 
port it during the modeling process. A female head 
over eleven inches high was found on a skeleton bur- 
ied directly in the earth. The head had been mod- 
eled around a terracotta vessel, the neck of which, 
encased in clay, served as a neck for the head. 2 The 
cheeks were painted yellow and the hair black. 

We do not know why among as many as twenty 
bodies buried in a collective tomb, only a few, male 
and female, had a painted head next to the skull. 
Roman Ghirshman found about a dozen such heads 
in several burial vaults. 3 The head of a woman cata- 
logued here was discovered in a tomb containing 
fourteen skeletons and six clay heads. Only two 
heads could be saved; the other is male. 4 

Heads of polychromed unbaked clay were also 
found at the Middle Elamite site of Haft Tepe, situ- 
ated midway between Susa and Chogha Zanbil, 
which was partially excavated between 1966 and 
1968 by an Iranian mission under Ezat Q Negah- 
ban. 5 Two female heads and a mask, probably male, 
were discovered, not in tombs but in a workshop 
near the ziggurat. The elaborate female coiffures 
were held in place by painted headbands, yellow in 
imitation of gold and decorated with painted cabo- 
chons: white and black on one and white and yellow 
on the other. The eyes, circled with white, are inlaid. 
Negahban dated these heads, which are probably 
royal, to the middle of the second millennium B.C. 


i}6 | The Middle Elamite Period 

1. Amiet, 1966, figs. 347-53/ 362-64. 

2. Roman Ghirshman, "Tetes funeraires en terre peinte des 
tombes elamites," Festschrift Franz Hancar (Vienna, 1962), 
pp. 149-51, pi. 14, 1-2. 

3. Roman Ghirshman, "Suse, campagne de fouilles, 1962-1963, 
Rapport preliminaire," A A 10 (1964), pp. 9-10, figs. 21, 23, 
24, and subsequent report in A A 11 (1965), p. 5, figs. 11-18; 
Ghirshman and Steve, 1966, p. 9, figs. 20-21. 

4. Ghirshman and Steve, 1966, fig. 20. 

5. Ezat O. Negahban, Rahnemah-ye Muzeh va Hafari-ye Haft 
Tepe (Guide to the Haft Tepe excavation and museum) (Te- 
heran, 1351/1972), pp. 26-27 an ^ figs. 42-44; idem, 1991, 
pp. 37-39 and frontispiece. 

84 Female funerary head 

Painted unbaked clay, hand modeled; bitumen eyes 
H. 6 7 /s in. {17.5 cm); W. 6 7 /s in. (17.5 cm); 
D. jVi in. (19 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, ca. 1500—1000 B.C. 
Sb 6y6y 

Excavated by Ghirshman, 1964. 

appeared. The yellow face is full, the inlaid bitumen 
compound eyes are wide open, and the brows, sculp- 
ted in relief, join at the bridge of the slightly hooked 
nose. Below the clearly delineated mouth is a dim- 
pled chin. On each ear is an ornament painted red. 
The coiffure, set low over the forehead, consists of a 
short fringe and a heavy braid that frames the face 
and ends with a smooth lock holding the arrange- 
ment in front. Judging from the analogous coiffures 
on nude female figurines of the same era (compare 
No. 131), this appears to be a ready-made headdress 
rather than hair, even though it is painted black. 

With its expressive and lifelike quality, this head 
is almost certainly an actual portrait of an Elamite 
lady from the second half of the second millen- 
nium B.C. 


1. Ghirshman and Steve, 1966, p. 26, fig. 21; Spycket, 1981, 
p. 316 n. 103, no. 206. 

This head 1 was discovered in 1965 in a vaulted col- 
lective tomb constructed of baked bricks. Liquid 
paraffin was poured over the head to save it from de- 
struction, but its original colors have practically dis- 

85 Pair of eyes 

Clay; traces of bitumen 

Each, H, V 4 in. (1.9 cm); w. 1V4 in. (3.1 cm); 

D, 5 /s in. (1,5 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, ca. 1500-1000 B.C. 
Ville Royale, built tomb 4; Sb 19560 
Excavated by Ghirshman, 1964. 

This pair of eyes belonged to a funerary head of un- 
baked clay like Number 84. 




Metal Clay, and Ivory Sculpture | 137 


86 Female head 

Elephant ivoryf?) 

H. i 3 A in. (3.5 cm); w. 1 in. (2.6 cm); 
D. ¥ 4 in. (1.9 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, ca. 1500-1000 B.C. 
Sb 5638 

This head/ the only preserved part of a statuette, is 
in the pure Susian tradition. The turbanlike head- 
dress placed over the wavy band of hair on the fore- 
head is found on other Elamite objects, such as the 
clay funerary heads (No. 84). 2 Also typically Elam- 
ite is the facial modeling — full, rounded cheeks and 
a flanged rim outlining the eyes. On the basis of its 
headdress, the head can be dated to the Middle 
Elamite period. 

Although the material is difficult to identify be- 
cause of the head's poor state of preservation and its 
diminutive size, which makes it impossible to see 
the growth lines, it seems very likely that the head 
is of ivory. 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 325; Spycket, 1981, p. 315, no. lot, 
pi. 207. 

2, Amiet, 1966, no. 351. 

87 Model, called the sit-shamshi (sunrise) 


L. 23V8 in. (60 cm); w. 15V4 in. (40 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2743 
Excavated by Morgan, 1904-5. 

This three-dimensional representation of a cult 
scene 1 is especially interesting because it is the only 
example of its kind in the ancient Near East. The 
model bears an inscription from which we can date 
it and identify both the king who commissioned it 
and the ceremony represented. The inscription 
reads: "I, Shilhak-Inshushinak, son of Shutruk- 
Nahhunte, beloved servant of Inshushinak, king of 
Anzan and of Susa, enlarger of my kingdom, protec- 
tor of Elam, sovereign of the land of Elam, I have 
made a bronze sunrise [sit-shamshi], . . ." 2 

The object's significance, however, is not clear to 
us, and its find context, which might have shed some 
light, is unfortunately not fully known. The model 
was discovered during the excavations conducted 
in 1904-5 in the northern part of the so-called 
Ninhursag temple on the Acropole. In 1909 the ex- 
cavator of this section, J.-E. Gautier, wrote that it 
had been found "at a shallow depth," embedded in a 
block of plaster and fitted into a wall construction of 
which only a few strata remained. The construction 
was apparently from a late period because the bricks 
set in with the plaster were datable to various eras. 3 
Two years later Roland de Mecquenem stated that 
the sit-shamshi had been used, along with ordinary 
bricks, to cover a tomb made in a partially demol- 
ished wall; the vaulting had been made with bricks 
taken from that wall. 4 He dated the tomb to the Par- 
thian period, an attribution that corresponded to the 
details given by Gautier. Thirty-two years later 
Mecquenem reconsidered the attribution and dated 
the grave to the Elamite period. 5 The level given for 
the sit-shamshi was, according to the plan of the 
Acropole published in lyn, 6 less than a meter be- 
low the spot where the statue of Queen Napir-Asu 
(No. 83) was discovered. Thus the findspot informa- 
tion does not contradict Mecquenem 's later 

Study of the model itself has produced various 
interpretations. In the center of the scene, which 


clearly takes place outdoors, are two nude men with 
shaved heads. Both are squatting; one stretches his 
hands out and the other seems about to pour water 
over them from a spouted vessel. The men are 
flanked by two quadrangular stepped structures. 
The higher structure has three levels and an element 
in the shape of a stairway rising to the second level 
on the side facing the men. On either side of this 
structure is a row of four conical piles, and in front 
is a low table with six rectangular depressions now 
visible. The table is in turn flanked by two conical 
pillars with a type of entablature at the top. The sec- 
ond stepped structure has two levels. Its long sides 
have bands in relief reminiscent of a door frame. 
Both structures have round depressions on the hori- 
zontal surfaces in the corners facing the men. 

The remaining objects on the platform are: a 
large jar and two rectangular basins, cult accessories 
linked to water; a stele with a rounded top; an in- 
stallation shaped in a right angle; and three trees. 
Opposite these, beyond the stepped two-level struc- 
ture, the inscription is engraved. 

The meaning of this unusual scene is obscure. If 
the model was deliberately buried in a Middle Elam- 
ite tomb, which, given its findspot in the heart of the 
sacred temenos, could only have been that of a king, 
it is legitimate to associate the ceremony represented 
with a royal funerary ritual, as a number of scholars 
have proposed. 7 On the other hand, nothing justifies 
this hypothesis if we are dealing with an artifact 
that was reused at a later date. 

Pere Vincent has related the installations on the 

sit-shamshi model to Canaanite "high places/' 8 
These generally contained altars for sacrifices and li- 
bations; steles (massebahs); commemorative struc- 
tures (betyls) symbolizing the venerated god; and 
sacred poles or trees (asherim) symbolizing the 
mother goddess. 

Undeniably there were obvious similarities 
among all Near Eastern cult sites used for offerings 
or sacrifices to gods and requiring prior ritual wash- 
ings. Yet some Canaanite cult accessories, although 
similar in appearance to the steles, pillars, and trees 
on the sit-shamshi model, appear to have been sym- 
bols of the deities rather than accessories. Thus it is 
more tempting to look at Babylonian and Elamite 
cult sites for parallels. One Iranian site in particular 
provides interesting analogies. At Chogha Zanbil 
(fig. 11, p. 9), twenty-five miles from Susa, on the 
southeastern esplanade of the ziggurat — where the 
sun rises — there was a series of cult installations. 
Two parallel rows of seven baked brick tables in the 
shape of truncated pyramids, each about ten inches 
(25 cm) high, were placed on a sloping pavement 
fitted with drains. An installation apparently used 
for libations was situated not far away. Nearby were 
three square offering tables made of brick, two 
platforms that may have served as stands for the 
seats of the king and queen, a large jar that still 
contained the remnants of two goblets, and the base 
of a lost stele. There was another brick offering 
table and a larger altar made of enameled brick close 
to the ziggurat. According to Ghirshman, who 
excavated this sacred city built by the king Untash- 

Metal, Clay, and Ivory Sculpture | 139 


Napirisha in the fourteenth century B.C., these 
elements were used for open-air purification rites, 
offerings, sacrifices, and ritual cleansings.9 We may 
therefore suggest that the sit-shamshi represents 
analogous installations in use at Susa two centuries 
later: here too one finds the two parallel rows of 
small pyramidal tables, the stele, the offering tables, 
perhaps the sacrificial altars, and the large jar for 
lustral water (the equivalent of the apsu of 
Babylonian sanctuaries and, incidentally, also of the 
brazen sea of the temple in Jerusalem). 

The other accessories are also known to us, from 
artifacts or written references. Basins and steles were 
commonplace in Mesopotamian and Elamite tem- 
ples. The Louvre has in its collection two rectangular 
stone basins excavated at Susa. One, inscribed with 
the name of Idaddu, prince of Susa at the very be- 
ginning of the second millennium, was dedicated in 
the temple of Inshushinak, the tutelary god of the 
city. 10 The other dates to the Middle Elamite period 
and is decorated with goatfish, the attribute of Ea, 
Mesopotamian god of the sweet water depths. 11 

The trees recall the many " grove temples" that 
Shilhak-Inshushinak had built in various locations 
of the kingdom; most of them were dedicated to 
Inshushinak. Other major deities of the Elamite 
pantheon also had such temples, for instance the 
goddess Kiririsha, mother of the gods, known as 
"Lady of life who has dominion over the grove." Sa- 

cred groves were a feature peculiar to the Elamite re- 
ligion, 12 and this explains why Ashurbanipal, king 
of Assyria, was to boast during his conquest of Susa 
five centuries later that his soldiers profaned and de- 
stroyed by fire "the secret groves which no outsider 
had ever entered" (see No. 189). 

The stepped structures are more difficult to inter- 
pret. If they are on the scale of the human figures 
they could be altars, the most probable hypothesis. 
Yet architectural and landscape elements on Near 
Eastern glyptic and reliefs are so often extremely 
small compared to the human figures that the dis- 
crepancy cannot be ascribed entirely to the artist's 
clumsiness in rendering perspective. Some scholars 
have proposed that the two structures on the model 
represent the two major temples on the Susa Acro- 
pole (the temple of Inshushinak and the temple of 
the great goddess) ; ! 3 or ziggurats; 1 ^ or lastly, the 
high temple of Susa and perhaps the kumpum 
kiduia (exterior sanctuary). *5 

It is even more difficult to explain the function of 
the two pillars. There is a certain resemblance to a 
scene in relief on the bronze gate at Balawat, exe- 
cuted during the reign of the Assyrian king Shal- 
maneser III (858-824 B.C.). 16 It depicts an animal 
sacrifice conducted in the open air. There are four 
objects that look like boundary markers and seem to 
be the same size as the sit-shamshi pillars. A row of 
three or four small objects (indicated by circles) is 

140 I The Middle Elamite Period 

aligned with each post. Another parallel exists at 
Kul-i Farah near Malamir, on a rock carving that 
bears an inscription of the Neo-Elamite king Hanni. 
It depicts a sacrificial scene in which a priest pours a 
libation on a small pyre-shaped altar, above which 
are the bodies and severed heads of three rams; the 
altar appears to be about the same size as the sit- 
shamshi pillars. *7 

All of these considerations seem to indicate that 
this model represents a cult activity taking place at 
the break of day in which two persons, presumably 
priests, engage in ritual cleansing at the very spot 
where the day's sacrifices and libations will be car- 
ried out. 


1. See Gautier, 1909, pp. 41-49; idem, 1911, pp. 143-51; 
Porada, 1965, pp. 60-61 , frontispiece; Amiet, 1966, 
pp. 392-93; Borker-Klahn, 1982, pp. 53, 175, no. 127. 

2. Based on Konig, 1965, p. 136, no. 56. 

3. Gautier, 1909, p. 41. 

4. Mecquenem, 1911b, p. 47. 

5. Mecquenem, 1943-44; idem, 1980, p. 17. 

6. Mecquenem, 1911a, plan following p. 72. 

7. Amiet, 1966, p. 392; Grillot, 1983, p. 12. 

8. Vincent, 1948, pp. 253-55. 

9. Ghirshman, 1966, pp. 72-82; Porada, 1965, p. 60. 

10. Sb 18: Scheil, 1905, p. 16, pi. 5; Sollberger and Kupper, 
1971, pp. 256-57. 

11. Sb 19: Amiet, 1966, pp. 394-95. 

12. Grillot, 1983, p. 4 n. 7, p. 11 n. 50. 

13. Gautier, 1909. 

14. Parrot, 1949, pp. 42-43; idem, 1957, pp. 79-83. 

15. Grillot, 1983, p. 12. 

16. King, 1915, pi. 59. Ghirshman (1966, p. 78) has pointed to 
parallels between the installations pictured on this relief and 
the ones he excavated at Chogha Zanbil. 

17. Amiet, 1966, fig. 425. 

Technical Analysis 

X-ray analysis 1 shows that the model consists of solid 
and hollow parts attached to the base (fig. 43). It also 
reveals a number of casting defects (i.e., porosity and 
bubbles). Visible on the underside are nine oval- 
shaped inlets where the metal was poured, symmetri- 
cally placed in relation to the median reinforcement 

Some of the solid parts — the two pillars, the two 
rows of pyramidal tables, and the two basins — were 
cast with the base. The figures were solid cast sep- 
arately and then locked into the base; the interlocking 
is clearly visible in relief on the underside. All these 
pieces were made using a bronze alloy containing an 
average of 2 percent tin. 

The two altars, the jar, the table with depressions, 
and the installation in the form of a right angle were 
cast using a different bronze alloy, richer in tin (3.5 
percent average) and with smaller proportions of trace 
elements (less iron, nickel, and cobalt), which means 

mm ® 


Figure 43. Diagram of the sit sham- 
shi showing techniques of the met- 
alwork manufacture, by Franchise 

Cast with piece 
Added to piece 

Rivet heads 
Hidden pins 
Pour holes 

Added support f < 
on reverse 

Metal Clay, and Ivory Sculpture | 141 

that a different copper was used. These segments are 
attached to the base by means of rivets. The altars and 
the jar are hollow. While the installation in the form of 
a right angle could be expected to be hollow because it 
is attached by rivets, X-ray analysis indicates that it 
might be solid. The table with depressions is made of 
two superimposed plates. The bottom one is attached 
to the base by rivets and the top one is pierced with 

The attachment mechanism used for the trees and 
the stele, all solid cast, was not elucidated by the X-ray 
analysis. The compositional analysis did show, how- 
ever, that the trees are of an alloy similar to the one 
used for the parts attached by rivets. 

There are fifteen or sixteen remnants of rivets 
attached to the upper surface. These are smaller than 
the ones used to hold the separate pieces to the base and 
are made of a bronze containing 2 to 3 percent tin, 
copper, and higher proportions of arsenic, nickel, and 
iron than the other rivets. The presence of these 
smaller rivets has yet to be explained. 

It is interesting to note that the larger altar, of the 
same alloy as the separately made pieces, contains an 
exceptionally high proportion of silver (1.2 percent) 
and gold (.027 percent), perhaps evidence that it had a 
facing of precious metal, now lost. 

FT & LH 

1. The X-ray analysis was conducted by France Drilhon at the 
Research Laboratory of the Musees de France. 

88 Brick relief with bull-man, palm tree, 
and frontal figure 

Inscriptions of Shilhak-lnshushinak 
Baked clay 

H. 54 in. (137 cm); each panel w. 14V2 in. (37 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.C. 
Apadana excavations east of the palace; Sh 14390, 
14391 (old restoration), 19575, 1 9576, 1 9577 
Excavated by Mecquenem, 1913-21. 
(See Conservation Report, pp. 281-84.) 

At Susa there is considerable evidence that molded 
bricks were used as a form of architectural decora- 
tion in the second and first millennia B.C. The finds 
from the Middle Elamite period (twelfth century 
B.C.) include decoratively modeled bricks, some of 
plain baked clay and some of a vitreous substance 
with a glazed surface. Regrettably, all of the Middle 
Elamite bricks, glazed and unglazed, were found out 
of context: the glazed bricks, which are relatively 
rare, were uncovered on the Acropole mound; and 
the unglazed bricks, from which this temple facade 
is reconstructed, were unearthed on the Ville Royale 
mound and the Apadana mound in an area east of 
the later Achaemenid palace. 1 The unglazed brick 
reliefs, many of them reused in the construction of 
a later aqueduct, were presumably intended for the 
decoration of the Middle Elamite building partially 
excavated on the Apadana mound by Roland de 
Mecquenem in the early decades of the twentieth 

The new reconstruction of the bricks (Sb 19575- 
77) presented in this exhibition is based on the ac- 
tual fragments that remain and differs from the 
panel displayed for years in the Louvre. On that 
panel the restored plaster head of the frontal figure 
was modeled on a glazed terracotta head found at 
the site that dates from the Neo-Elamite period 
(No. 147). 

Across the surface of the molded bricks run in- 
scriptions naming an Elamite king of the twelfth 
century, Shilhak-lnshushinak. In these inscriptions 
the ruler describes the restoration and reconstruction 
of the kumpum kiduia (exterior sanctuary) dedi- 
cated to the patron god of Susa, Inshushinak. 2 The 
largest number of bricks recovered during the exca- 
vations belong to the bull-man and the palm tree 
panels. Much scarcer are molded bricks depicting 
the frontal figure. Other unglazed bricks forming an 
abstract, zigzag design may also have had some place 
in the overall decorative scheme (see fig. 60, p. 282). 

Metal, Clay, and Ivory Sculpture | 143 

In spite of the disturbed contexts in which these 
bricks were discovered, it has proven possible to re- 
construct in a convincing fashion the bull-man and 
the palm tree. More problematical is the frontal fig- 
ure, since fragments of the head exist but there are 
none of the original headdress. At present this figure 
is accurately shown with arms raised in a gesture of 
supplication, a gesture that has led to the identifica- 
tion of the image as a representation of the goddess 
Lama or the Elamite equivalent of this Mesopota- 
mian divine protector and intercessor for man before 
the greater gods. 3 However, because of the damaged 
condition and incomplete assortment of bricks that 
make up the figure, questions must remain concern- 
ing the identification of the image and the original 
appearance of the brick relief. The face of the figure 
is curiously foreshortened so that the head appears 
to bend forward in a position often seen on sculp- 
tures of humans during the Middle Elamite period 
(Nos. 89, 90). 4 In relief, projecting from the chin 
line, are short ridges that cannot be part of the hair 
falling from the head and are difficult to interpret 
except as a human beard or an animal ruff. Origi- 
nally the image was called a sphinx, and it is possi- 
ble that the figure may not be entirely human or 
female. In the first millennium B.C. the Lama 
(lamassu) figure underwent a transformation in the 
art of Mesopotamia and Syria, and the divinity took 
on the form of a human-headed bull. 

In contrast to the mystery surrounding this 
enigmatic frontal image, the bull-man and palm tree 
are more standard in form and more reliably recon- 
structed. Rigid spikes surmount the palm trunk, a 
stylization, perhaps, of the natural curving branches 
or, alternatively, a reference to astral symbolism, 
since representations in other media often illustrate a 
star on top of the tree trunks 

Prototypes for the use of molded-brick architec- 
tural decoration existed in Mesopotamia and Syria 
in the early and mid-second millennium B.C. A Kas- 
site (fifteenth century B.C.) temple of the goddess 
Inanna at Uruk in southern Mesopotamia was deco- 
rated with unglazed brick images of frontal male 
and female divinities holding vases from which 
streams flow. 6 On this building the figures, which 
are on a scale comparable to the Susa reliefs, are 
sunk in niches so that the wall has a stepped surface, 
a possibility also for the Susa temple facade. At Tell 
Rimah, in western Mesopotamia, the facade of the 
main temple building of the early second millen- 
nium B.C. is decorated with bricks articulated as 
palm trunks/ a pattern that also appears on a con- 


144 I The Middle Elamite Period 

temporary temple building at Leilan in Syria. 8 
Stone impost blocks of the early and mid-second 
millennium B.C. found at Tell Rimah, which were 
also used in the main temple building, display relief 
images of a striding bull-man between two palm 
fronds as well as a much damaged frontal figure who 
is placed between palm trees. The latter figure, about 
23 inches (58 cm) in height, is thought to be a fe- 
male because of the long skirt, but the head is de- 
faced and eroded, and a positive identification is not 
possible. The figure has been variously identified as 
Lama and as a "Lady with Palms" associated with 
the realm of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar.9 A 
large-scale molded terracotta relief of a bull-man 
and a doorpost, zyA inches (60 cm) high, found at 
Ur in southern Mesopotamia in an early-second- 
millennium B.C. context (Larsa period), may also 
have been used in temple decoration. 10 

The association with sacred buildings of both a 
frontal figure and a bull-man wearing a horned 
headdress who holds a tree or doorpost is therefore 
widespread in the Near East during the second mil- 
lennium B.C. These same motifs appear in both 
Mesopotamian and Syrian art on a smaller scale, on 
terracotta plaques and cylinder seals. 

At present, the images on the Middle Elamite 

unglazed, molded bricks from Susa are probably 
best understood as representations of protective be- 
ings, whose appearance on the walls of the exterior 
sanctuary [kumpum kiduia) is noted in inscriptions. 
These benevolent divinities were watchful guardians 
of the sacred buildings and the royal family, whose 
images, the texts inform us, were sometimes placed 
in an interior chapel (suhter). 


1. Amiet, 1966, pp. 396-97, fig. 299; idem, 1976c!, pp. 13-28; 
Mecquenem, 1922, pp. 127-30; idem, 1924, p. 115; Unvala, 
1928, pp. 179-84; Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 13-14/ pi- 1. As 
Suzanne Heim notes in her dissertation, there are references 
to the discovery of baked bricks with inscriptions and 
molded decoration on the Acropole mound, but whether 
these bricks belong to this same series is unclear: Heim, 
1989, pp. 6 7 ^~ 75 . 

2. Grillot, 1983, p. 13. 

3. Spycket, 1960, pp. 73-84; Wiseman, 1960, pp. 166-71. 

4. Amiet, 1966, pp. 418 fig. 318, 421 fig. 319, 458 fig. 350. 

5. Danthine, 1937, pi. 85, figs. 571, 572. 

6. Orthmann, 1975, Abb. 169, p. 295. 

7. D. Oates, 1967, p. 8o, pis. 33, 36; stone impost block p. 74, 
pi. 31a; Oates and Oates, 1991, pp. 134-35, P^- 4- 

8. H. Weiss, "Tell Leilan on the Habur Plains of Syria," Bibli- 
cal Archaeologist 48 (March 1985), pp. 11-13. 

9. Howard- Carter, 1983, pp. 64-72. 
10. Ibid., pi. 3b. 

The 'Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" 
from the Inshushinak Temple Precinct 

Th is cache of precious objects was found by Roland de 
Mecquenem on February 22, 1904, in the heart of the 
sacred area of Susa's Acropole. 1 It was situated slightly 
below a level of pavement often encountered during 
excavations and presumed to belong to the Middle 
Elamite level of the sector. 

The objects were grouped closely together on a 
platform measuring about 38 by 25 inches (96 X 
64 cm) and composed of two rows of three square 
bricks, each i2 5 /s inches on a side and 2 inches thick 
(32 X 32 X 5 cm) covered with a very weathered 
green glaze. Mecquenem noted the presence of 
'tightly packed earth" (terre pilee) around and under 
the platform. Found with the objects were bones that 
Mecquenem surmised were those of a lamb or a goat 
and that he interpreted as remnants of a propitiatory 
sacrifice. He regarded this small cache as a deposit 
placed at the foundation level under a pavement that 
corresponded to the floor of a building. According to 
his plan of the Acropole, 2 the deposit was in front of 
the southern facade of the ziggurat, about midway 
between the so-called Ninhursag temple and the In- 
shushinak temple. 

In addition to the objects exhibited here, which 
constitute the core of the deposit, there were five other 
statuettes in faience, a white limestone knob in the 
shape of a spool with a convex top and a slightly 
concave base, 4/3 inches (10.6 cm) in diameter and y/s 
inches (8 cm) high, and seventy-one carnelian and 
agate beads of varying shapes. With the exception of 
the knob, whose function is unknown, the deposit can 
essentially be divided into two categories: the stat- 
uettes of worshipers, and personal or votive items. Two 
of the eleven worshipers stand out from the others 
because of their material composition (gold and silver 
rather than faience) and their appearance (in particular 
the two-part beard and the special headdress sugges- 

tive of royalty). These two statuettes may very well 
represent a single individual since they differ only in 
the metal employed, the portrayal of the animal offer- 
ing, and the way the offering is held in the left hand. 
All the other statuettes of worshipers represent more 
ordinary people. They are beardless and their hair is 
arranged over the forehead in typical Elamite fashion; 
the skirts are rendered by a plain cylinder. Six of them 
hold a dove, while the other three have the left hand 
placed on the belt and the right on the chest. 

The precious objects found with the worshipers 
include beads and pendants belonging to one or more 
sets of jewelry, a small figurine of a dove reminiscent 
of those held by some of the worshipers, and a whet- 
stone^) whose function remains unclear, since no 
other example of its type has been excavated at Susa, 
and no representation of such an object is known. 

How can we interpret this cache of objects? Mec- 
quenem based his original theory that it was a founda- 
tion deposit on several factors: the cache was situated 
in the center of the sacred quarter of Susa (in fact, at 
the foot of the ziggurat), slightly below the level of 
religious installations; it had been placed in a structure 
whose glazed-brick bottom was manufactured with 
particular care; and it included a group of votive stat- 
uettes, possibly royal, as well as rich offerings. Mec- 
quenem later abandoned this theory without fully 
explaining the reasons for his change of mind, sug- 
gesting that the artifacts were the remnants of a funer- 
ary deposit from a vaulted tomb that had been looted. 3 

While the possibility that there was a royal ne- 
cropolis on the Acropole in the time of Shilhak- 
Inshushinak (ca. 1150) cannot be discounted^ there 
are reasons to question Mecquenem's hypothesis 
about this deposit. First, the excavator made no men- 
tion in 1905 of a vault above the objects. Second, the 
artifacts do not correspond to the type of objects usu- 


146 I The Middle Elamite Period 

ally deposited in a burial site, and the block of bricks 
on which they rested, only about one yard long, seems 
too small for a tomb. Third, the Middle Elamite funer- 
ary complexes at Haft Tepe and Chogha Zanbil, dating 
to the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries B.C., include 
vaulted baked-brick tombs that are vast and deep. Such 
a tomb would have left more important remains than 
those found by Mecquenem on the Acropole, and the 
platform would have been much lower. 

On the other hand, perhaps a clue to the purpose of 
this deposit can be found in Fran^oise Grillot's work,^ 
which demonstrates that the temples of Susa in 
Shilhak-Inshushinak's time included several sites with 
specific functions; the sit-shamshi (No. 87) might 
illustrate one of these installations. In particular, there 
is a striking resemblance between the trouvaille and 
the objects deposited in suhters — that is, chapels in- 
tended for the royal funerary cult in which statues of 
the king, of living or deceased members of his family, 
and of protector gods were placed alongside precious 
objects. Indeed, the objects of our deposit seem more 
appropriate to a sanctuary than a tomb, even a royal 
one. It seems possible, then, that these objects, left by 
looters of the Acropole, originated in one of these cult 
sites, of which we know the Elamite names in some 
cases, but practically nothing else. 

Be they funerary or sacred, these objects were 
almost certainly royal. An ordinary person could 
hardly have had access to so much precious material; 
nowhere else in Susa have excavations yielded stat- 
uettes of solid gold analogous to the one of the wor- 
shiper holding a young goat, and nowhere have blocks 
of lapis lazuli been discovered comparable in size to the 
one used for the dove. Finally, the bead inscribed with 
the name of a king of Babylon was probably part of the 
booty brought back to Susa by the Elamite kings 
Shutruk-Nahhunte and his sons and deposited in the 
temples. In that case, the deposit, if not all the objects 
in it, dates to the twelfth century B.C. 



1. Mecquenem, 1905b, pp. 131-36. 

2. Mecquenem, 1911a, p. 72. 

3. Mecquenem, 1943-44, P H 1 ; idem, 1980, p. 16. 

4. Amiet, 1966, p. 390; Carter and Stolper, 1984, p. 162 n. 345. 

5. Grillot, 1983. 

8g Gold and copper 

H. 3 in. (7.5 cm); w. i 3 /s in. (3.4 cm) 

90 Silver and copper 

H. 3 in. (7.6 cm); w. iVs in. (3.4 cm) 
Sb 2759 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.C. (7 J 
Acropole, trench 27 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

The statuette in gold (No. 89) 1 is of a standing fig- 
ure, his right hand raised in a typical gesture of 
prayer and his left hand holding against his waist a 
small horned animal, probably a young goat. The 
worshiper wears a skirt that is without visible seams 
or a vertical hem; the embroidery work is repre- 
sented by a dotted pattern. The fringed border at the 
bottom of the garment is slightly raised in front to 
reveal the tips of the joined feet, a typical feature of 
Middle Elamite statues. The figures are usually 
barefoot, but this one wears shoes in the manner of 
royal figures depicted on a glazed brick bas-relief 
bearing an inscription of Shilhak-Inshushinak. 2 The 
skirt is held at the waist by a double belt. 

The torso is apparently bare; it is clearly mod- 
eled in the back and has a star pattern incised on the 
front that is reminiscent of a motif representing the 
hair of the mouflon-men on the stele of Untash- 
Napirisha (No. 80). The figure has not only a mus- 
tache but also a beard, characteristic of sovereigns 
and deities, depicted in two sections with thick curls 
covering the cheeks and long waves descending from 
the chin. The hair, in the form of a checkered 
skullcap with a wide band over the forehead, is held 
in place by a thick twisted roll of hair. The pattern of 
squares on the hair is suggestive of a piece of mate- 
rial or a hairnet, and for this reason some scholars 
have compared these statues to a large male head in 
the Metropolitan Museum collection (fig. 49, p. 
176). 3 That head antedates the statuettes by almost a 
millennium, however, and its Elamite background 
has not been ascertained. Furthermore, on the stat- 
uettes the upper part of the beard is also treated in a 
checkered pattern, suggesting that the design on the 
top of the head represents hair and not material. 

The gold statuette, 2V8 inches (6 cm) high with- 
out its base, contains 6.5 percent silver and 1 percent 
copper and is cast solid in the lost- wax process. An 
anchor-shaped tip at the bottom affixes the figure to 
the hollow, square base, which is of copper. 4 

The 'Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" | 147 

89, 90 

The silver statuette^ is identical to the gold one 
in all but a few details. It is slightly shorter and 
thinner, the band of hair on the forehead is narrower, 
and the figure holds a smaller recumbent animal in 
the palm of his left hand. Although the species can- 
not be identified, the animal may well be a quadru- 
ped, for its triangular head resembles that of the 
young goat held by the other figure. The statuette is 
cast solid like the gold one and is fixed to its base in 
a similar manner. The metal is silver alloyed with 
small amounts of gold, copper, and zinc. 

These statuettes present the same basic charac- 
teristics as a relatively homogeneous group of bronze 
worshipers found in another deposit on the Acro- 
pole. Most of the bronze statuettes are similarly dis- 
posed, with the right hand raised and the left hand 
holding a quadruped or a bird as an offering. They 
too are generally portrayed bare-chested and wear- 
ing long skirts sometimes decorated with a dotted 
pattern. But unlike on our statuettes, the skirt is 
usually wrapped around the waist, it has a vertical 
hem, and there is a belt whose wide flap hangs down 
over the left hip. Some of the figures are bald; others 
have hair in typically Elamite fashion with a band 

rising above the forehead. They are similarly small, 
but some are hollow cast. 

The headdress and the beard are the two most 
important features that distinguish our statuettes 
from those of ordinary worshipers and point to their 
royal character. Unfortunately, few representations of 
Middle Elamite sovereigns have survived intact. The 
least fragmentary representation is of an Elamite 
king, identified by some scholars as Shutruk- 
Nahhunte I (1190-1155 B.C.), on an appropriated 
Kassite stele (No. 117). The beard is analogous but 
the headdress, which has only partially survived, is 
different: there is apparently no braid or coil of hair 
on top, and there are long side locks. The latter seem 
to be characteristic of royal coiffures of the period, 
inasmuch as they are also found on the glazed brick 
bas-relief, mentioned above, bearing an inscription 
of Shilhak-Inshushinak and representing the 
king along with members of his family. 6 On a 
chalcedony bead that Shilhak-Inshushinak gave to 
his daughter/ now in the British Museum, the king 
is bearded but his hair is worn in simple Elamite 
fashion with a band above the forehead and no braid 
(fig. 56, p. 258). 

148 I The Middle Elamite Period 

, 90, back view 

The representations of Untash-Napirisha that 
have been preserved show only the lower part of his 
body. On his stele (No.^ 80) he is dressed in the same 
manner as our statuettes, with a skirt decorated in a 
dotted pattern and bordered on the bottom by a row 
of fringe. On the statue in the Louvre (Sb 62) the 
same garment also has a vertical row of fringe. We 
can conclude, therefore, that our two statuettes are 
represented in garments that could apparently be 
worn by kings without being reserved exclusively 
for them, with beards that are specific to sovereigns 
and deities. As for the hairstyle, it is unique and 
does not correspond to any of the representations of 
the Shutrukids, who have side locks framing the 
face. While it is reminiscent of the hairstyle of 
third-millennium kings, the comparison is too dis- 
tant to be conclusive. Nevertheless, it is certain that 
the two statuettes do not represent ordinary people, 
if only because of the material used. Gold statues 
were apparently extremely rare; they were always of 
kings or deities, always on a small scale, and even 
then the gold was usually only a plating over bronze. 

Mesopotamian texts frequently mention the 
manufacture of royal statues, and it is known that 
kings used these occasions to designate the years of 
their reign. The texts usually specify the pose of the 
sovereign, the most common being as the bearer of a 

young goat. Sometimes two statues were made, such 
as 'The two copper images of King Rim-Sin pray- 
ing" 8 or the one in silver and one in gold of Samsu- 
ditana, last king of the first dynasty of Babylon. 9 It 
is conceivable, then, that our statuettes represent a 
single Middle Elamite king whose identity cannot be 
established. On the other hand, since we know that 
the Shutrukids deposited effigies of several sover- 
eigns of the royal family in certain dynastic cult 
sites, it is equally possible that these statuettes rep- 
resent two dynastic kings. 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 132, pi. 24:1; Porada, 1965, 

pp. 62-64, pi. 12; Amiet, 1966, fig. 319; Spycket, 1981, 
p. 309 n. 19, pi. 200. 

2. Amiet, 1988b, p. 105, fig. 63. 

3. Muscarella, 1988, pp. 368-74. 

4. The statuettes were analyzed by the Research Laboratory 
of the Musees de France; the X-rays were done by France 
Drilhon and the X-ray fluorescence analysis by Alain Duval. 

5. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 133, pi. 24:2; Porada, 1965, 

pp. 62-64, pl- 12 >' Amiet, 1966, fig. 318; Spycket, 1981, 
p. 309 n. 19. 

6. Amiet, 1988b, p. 105, fig. 63. 

7. Sollberger, 1965, pp. 31-32. 

8. Barrelet, 1974, p. 122. 

9. Finkelstein, 1959, p. 47. 

The "Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" | 149 

91 Whetstone with lion head 

Gold and schist 

L. 6Ys in. (15.5 cm); h. V 4 in. (1.8 cm) 
Middle Elamite, 12th century B.C. (7) 
Acropole, trench 27; Sb 2j6y 
Excavated hy Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

This honing stone is circular in section and tapers 
off at the bottom. 1 The handle is in the shape of a 
stylized lion's head, with repousse and chased deco- 
ration; behind the head is a band delicately decorated 
with filigree and granulation. A small rivet with a 
gold head held the stone in the handle. The stone it- 
self bears no signs of use, and there are inexplicable 
traces of gold on it. It is undoubtedly a votive or cer- 
emonial object and is unique in its genre at Susa. 

Whetstones have long existed in the Near East. 
The earliest, without handles, are common in Meso- 
potamia and known at Susa. They are pierced with 
holes at the top to hold rings so that they could be 
attached to belts. One of the most precious examples 
of such a sharpening tool is the one in lapis lazuli 
with a gold ring found in the royal tomb of Meska- 
lamdug at Ur. 2 Whetstones with zoomorphic handles 
appeared in the Early Iron Age at the end of the 
second millennium B.C.. Luristan has provided the 
most numerous and best known examples; the most 
ancient of these were found in the cemetery at 
Bard-i Bal and date from about the eleventh cen- 
tury B.C. 3 Elaborately decorated with animals cast in 
the round, they are the first examples of a type that 
became widespread in Iron Age II (ca. 1000- 
750 B.C.). 

The Susa whetstone, more soberly decorated 
with the animal head a direct extension of the hon- 
ing stone, belongs to a different type which also 
appeared in the last centuries of the second mil- 
lennium B.C. For example, a similar tool with a 
ram's head handle, dating to the eleventh century 
B.C., was found at Sippar in Mesopotamia. 4 The hy- 
pothesis that this type dates back to the fourteenth 
century B.C. is supported by several finds. Two vo- 
tive objects made of faience were discovered in 
chapel III of the enclosure wall of the ziggurat at 
Chogha Zanbil: a cylindrical ferrule or handle 
shaped like the head of a bird of prey and a frag- 
mentary thick rod, quadrangular in section, with a 
ram's or mouflon's head. It is likely they were made 
in imitation of metal or stone objects, with the holes 
under the animals' heads probably holding rings 
that are now lost. Similarly, a faience imitation of a 

91, detail 

honing stone, this time with a gazelle's head, was ex- 
cavated in the area known as the palais hypogee at 
Chogha Zanbil. 5 Neo- Assyrian reliefs show this 
type of whetstone worn in a sheath alongside a 

Because of the delicacy of the gold work on this 
whetstone, comparable to that of contemporary 
Babylonian jewelry, Rachel Maxwell-Hyslop has 
suggested that the piece was made in Babylonia or 
crafted in Susa by a Babylonian artisan deported 
after the defeat of the last Kassite king, Enlil-nadin- 
ahhe (1157-1155 B.C.). This is a possible scenario. 
However, the whetstone was certainly manufactured 
during the Middle Elamite period, when Elamite 
metalwork was in its heyday, and therefore there is 
every reason to believe that it is the creation of a 
Susian goldsmith. 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 135, pi. 24:3; Porada, 1965; p. 64, 
pi. 12; Amiet, 1966, fig. 320; Maxwell-Hyslop, 1971, 
pp. 168-69, l8 7> pl- 12 §- 

2. Woolley, 1934, p. 156, pl. 155:11. 10015. 

3. Vanden Berghe, 1973b, pis. 17, 19. 

4. Herzfeld, 1941, p. 138, fig. 253. 

5. Ghirshman, 1966, p. 72, pis. 48:1c, 1a, 77:012439, 436; 
idem, 1968, p. 55, pis. 35:5, 82:gtz 781. 

150 I The Middle Elamite Period 

92 Worshiper carrying a bird 

Faience with traces of glazing 

H. y/s in. (8 cm); w. i 7 /s in. (4.9 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century b.c.(?J 

Acropole, trench 27; Sb 2899 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

93 Worshiper 

Faience with traces of glazing 

H. 2V4 in. (y.i cm); w. 7 h in. (2.2 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.c.(7j 

Acropole, trench 2j; Sb 6592 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

This upright figure wears a long skirt shaped like a 
plain cylinder and held at the waist by a belt with a 
wide flap hanging down in the front. It is unclear 
whether the torso is covered or naked. The hair is 
coif fed in Elamite fashion: in the back, three rows of 
curls fall down to the nape of the neck; on top, the 
hair is parted in the middle; and in front there is a 
thick band of hair over the forehead. The figure's left 
hand, supported by the right one, grips the feet of a 
bird that faces left. The bird's eye and feathers are 
indicated. 1 


1. Mecquenem, 1:905b, p. 133, pi. 23:5; Amiet, 1966, fig. 317:3; 
Spycket, 1981, p. 311 n. 87. 

Unlike the preceding worshiper figure (No. 92), this 
one carries no offering. His left hand touches his 
body at the waist, while his right hand is raised 
against his chest with one finger extended. The up- 
per part of the garment has bordered edges and 
crosses in the back like the garment worn by the 
king on the Kassite stele brought back from Baby- 
lonia (No. 117). The hair is arranged in two rows of 
curls behind and a thick band over the forehead. 1 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 133, pi. 23:6; Amiet, 1966, 
fig. 317:2; Spycket, 1981, pp. 311-12. 

92, 94, 93, 95 

The 'Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" | 151 

94 Worshiper 

Faience with traces of glazing 

H. 2 3 /s in. (6.2 cm); w. 1 in. (2.4 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.C. (7) 

Acropole, trench 27; Sb 2900 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

his right hand is raised away from his body and he 
grips the feet of a bird in his left hand. 1 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 133, pi. 23:4; Amiet, 1966, 
fig. 317:1; Spycket, 1981, p. 311 n. 87. 

This statuette is slightly smaller than the preceding 
figure (No. 93) but otherwise identical. 1 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 133; Spycket, 1981, p. 311 n. 87. 

95 Worshiper carrying a bird 

Faience with traces of glazing 

H. 2V4 in. (7 cm); w. 7 /s in. (2.2 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century b.c.(?) 

Acropole, trench 27; Sb 6593 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

This worshiper resembles the two preceding ones 
(Nos. 93, 94) in posture, clothing, and hairstyle, but 

96 Dove 

Lapis lazuli and gold 

H. 1V4 in. (4.5 cm); L. 4V2 in. (11.5 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.C. (7) 

Acropole, trench 27; Sb 2887 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

Carved from a block of lapis lazuli and studded with 
gold, this dove was probably an offering made to a 
deity by a person of high rank. 1 It is reminiscent of 
the birds carried by several of the Susian worshiper 
figures in faience and bronze. 

A separate beak and tail were held in place by 
means of bronze pegs, and a hole in the front of 


152 I The Middle Elamite Period 

the head shows where the now-missing beak was 
attached. (Mecquenem noted the presence in the 
deposit of two lapis lazuli fragments, perhaps rem- 
nants of the beak.) The wings jut out slightly and 
are incised to represent feathers. Three rows of gold 
studs adorn the base of the neck and the chest. Solid 
gold studs, Ys inch (.3 cm) thick and Y16 inch 
(.45 cm) in diameter, are used to represent the eyes; 
the pupils are indicated by raised circles. The feet 
are not depicted, and a circular gold plate is inlaid on 
the underside where the feet would have been at- 
tached. Since the object is not freestanding, it is pos- 
sible that it was meant to be held by a large statue. 

Numerous faience figurines of birds, much 
smaller than this one, were dedicated in the temples 
of the goddesses Pinikir and Kiririsha at Chogha 
Zanbil. It is quite likely that this very beautiful dove 
was also made as an offering to a goddess. 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, pp. 133-34, pi. 25:1-2; Amiet, 1966, 

97 Bull's head pendant 

Lapis lazuli and gold 

H. 5 /s in. (1.5 cm); L. 3 / 4 in. (1.8 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, 12th century B.C. (?) 

Acropole, trench 27; Sb 6589 

Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

This small pendant is a fine example of animal art, 
in which realism is combined with elegantly styl- 
ized details, such as the zigzag pattern framing the 
head. The horns, which were separate and probably 
made of a different material, have disappeared. The 
suspension loop consists of a gold strip folded along 
the edges and curved to form a ring. It is attached to 
the head by means of a rod that is soldered to the 
loop and passes through a hole from the back of the 
head down to the base of the neck, where the rod is 
split in two and bent back on either side. 1 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 134, pi. 13:12; Amiet, 1966, fig. 334. 

99' 98/ 97 

The 'Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" | 153 

98 Bead of Kurigalzu 

Inscribed in Akkadian 

H. V2 in. (1.1 cm); L. 1 in. (2.4 cm) 
Kassite period, 14th century B.C. 
Acropole, trench zy; Sb 6590 
Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904.. 

This bead, pierced lengthwise, is convex on the side 
that was meant to be seen and flat in back. 1 It bears 
the inscription: "To Ishtaran, Kurigalzu has dedi- 
cated [this] . " Ishtaran was the god of Der, a city 
situated to the east of the Tigris River, between 
Elam and Mesopotamia proper. The Kassite king 
Kurigalzu II (1332-1308 B.C.) might have person- 
ally deposited the jewel in a Susian temple at the 
time of his conquest of Elam, 2 but it is more likely 
that the bead was part of the booty brought back by 
Shutruk-Nahhunte I and his sons and dedicated in 
one of the sanctuaries of Susa. Two other artifacts 
with inscriptions of Kurigalzu II were excavated at 
Susa: a spool-shaped knob dedicated to Enlil and 
probably originating in Nippur, and a fragment of a 
statuette on which the king describes himself as the 
one "who destroyed Susa and Elam, who ruined 

Agate beads were unusual during the Early 
Dynastic period but became increasingly widespread 
during the Akkadian period, when they were often 
embellished with gold caps. Under the Third Dy- 
nasty of Ur, agates were particularly popular and 
were usually mounted in gold settings. The loveliest 
of these were decorated with filigree, and sometimes 
gold bands were added to the caps so that the bead 
was surrounded by its mount. Kurigalzu 's bead 
bears traces of wear on the ends and along the sides, 
perhaps indicating the existence of such a setting at 
one time. 

Agate is a hard stone that can be given a beauti- 
ful high polish and that seems to have been espe- 
cially prized for the use that could be made of its 
lovely natural patterns. The deposit contained an- 
other agate bead, smaller than Kurigalzu's, carved in 
the shape of a shell, with its stone bands imitating 
the shell structure. From the Kassite period on, the 
kings made votive offerings of agates with concentric 
circular bands, known as ring or eye agates. 

The tradition of offering jewelry to statues of 
deities is an extremely ancient one; it is well attested 
in texts, and excavations have yielded many neck- 

98, top view 

laces of beads of gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and 
agate, some of them bearing dedication inscriptions. 


1. Scheil, 1905, p. 30; Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 135. 

2. The inscription does not mention the name of the king's father 
(as is usually the practice). It is possible that the bead be- 
longed instead to another, earlier king (ca. 1400-1375) who 
bore the same name. 

3. Scheil, 1913, pp. 32-33; idem, MDP 28 (1939), pp. 11-12. 

99 Lion 


H. 1 in. (2.5 cm); L. iV 4 in. (4.5 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, 12th century b.c.(?) 
Acropole, trench 27; Sb 6591 
Excavated by Morgan, February 22, 1904. 

This small recumbent lion is sculpted in low relief 
except for its half-turned face, which is in high re- 
lief. 1 Two holes pierced on a slant converge on the 
back of the relief, one at the chest and the other at 
the rump. These holes could not have been meant for 
a necklace cord because they are pierced too low for 
the lion to remain in an upright position while thus 
suspended. Perhaps the lion is an inlay element, 
which would explain why the back is completely flat 
and the edges are not as highly polished as the rest 
of the lion. 


1. Mecquenem, 1905b, p. 135, pi. 13:13; Amiet, 1966, fig. 333. 

154 I The Middle Elamite Period 

Small Finds: Sculptures and Seals 

100 Articulated figure 


H. 4 5 /g in. (11.8 cm); w. iV 4 in. (3.3 cm); D. 1 in. 
(2.4 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, ca. 1475-1100 B.C. 
Ville Royale l f found in a jar containing various 
objects of a deposit; Sb 2750 
Excavated by Mecquenem, 1930. 

Like the female statuette Number 59, this graceful 
figure 1 was long thought to be made of ivory, but its 
recent examination has revealed that it is more likely 
made of shell. Sculpting shell in the round is ex- 
tremely difficult, and the work thus confirms the re- 
markable skill of Susian craftsmen. 

The articulation of the separately made arms and 
legs was effected by means of joints fixed in mor- 
tises and held in place by rivets through two holes in 
the shoulders. The eyes were also separately made; 
the opening of the eye sockets is connected to a mor- 
tise cut vertically into the top of the head. The large 
rim of hair, covering the forehead like a turban, is 
apparently a feminine coiffure and has led to an in- 
terpretation of the figure as that of a young girl. No 
parallel is known for her clothing — a kilt, held at the 
waist by a wide belt, with a fringed vertical hem 
hanging between the legs. 

The objects of the funerary deposit with which it 
was found, including many shells and jewelry made 
of stone beads, allow the figure to be attributed to 
the Middle Elamite period. 


1. Mecquenem, 1934, pi. 10:4-5, PP- 208-9; Amiet, ic 
no. 327; Spycket, 1981, p. 312, no. 91, fig. 78. 

Small Finds: Sculptures and Seals | 155 

101 Cart with lion 

Bitumen compound and limestone 
Lion: H. 1 in. (2.6 cm); L. 2V2 in. (6.2 cm) 
Cart: L. 3 in. (7.5 cm); W. i 3 /s in. (3.6 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, i^th-i2th century B.C. 
Acropole, Inshushinak temple precinct; Sb 2905 
Excavated by Morgan, 1904. 

A limestone lion reclines upon a cart of bitumen 
compound. 1 The animal's features and exterior are 
reduced to a variety of decorative surface patterns. 
The hair of the mane is rendered in an arrangement 
of lozenge shapes, while the hair along the sides of 
the body is treated in a scalelike pattern. A ruff of 
long straight hair surrounds the face and the ears 
are abstracted into palmettelike shapes. A star pat- 
tern at each shoulder represents a swirling tuft of 
hair. The lion's eyes, which are round and hollow, 
must once have been inlaid with shell or semi- 
precious stones. The lion is joined to the cart by 

means of two tenons inserted into two holes placed 
in the middle of the cart. Four disk-shaped wheels 
are attached to the body of the cart by pegs. 


1. Mecquenem, 1905a, pp. 99-100, pi. 25:3; Lampre, 1905, 
pp. 168-69; Amiet, 1966, fig. 329. 

102 Cart with hedgehog 

Bitumen compound and limestone 
Hedgehog: H. iVs in. (2.8 cm); l. i s /s in. (4 cm) 
Cart: L. 2 5 /s in. (6.8 cm); w. 2 1 /s in. (5.5 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, ijth-nth century B.C. 
Acropole, Inshushinak temple precinct; Sb 2908 
Excavated by Morgan, 1904. 

The limestone hedgehog stands upright upon a cart 
of bitumen compound. 1 The animal is represented 

101, 102 

156 I The Middle Elamite Period 

with a minimum of detail. Its conical muzzle pro- 
jects slightly upward and is flattened in front; the 
eyes are round and hollowed out to receive an inlay 
of another material. A pattern of rows of squares, 
carved in high relief, represents the animal's spiky 
bristles. Two holes are provided for inlay at the ani- 
mal's neck, perhaps for the ears. 

Four round depressions at the front of the cart 
hold the hedgehog securely in place. Eight similar 
but smaller depressions at the back of the cart indi- 
cate that two smaller animals must have once stood 
behind the hedgehog. A perforation at the front 
of the cart was used to attach a string for pulling 
the object. 

The function of these animals on carts (see No. 
101) is still disputed. They have been identified both 
as toys and as cult objects. The examples shown here 
were buried as part of a deposit in the temple of 
Inshushinak. 2 


1. Mecquenem, 1905a, p. 100, pi. 23:8; Amiet, 1966, fig. 330. 

2. Mecquenem, 1905a, pp. 99-100. See Numbers 89-99, above, 
for another deposit from the same temple. 

103 Cylinder seal with worshiper and altar 
with flames 


H. iVs in. (2.7 cm); diam. Vs in. (.85 cm); string hole 
V16 in. (.2 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, late iqth-i^th century B.C. 
Sb 6236 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

Certain cylinder seals from Susa are related — both 
in their general style and in their depictions of ritual 
scenes — to the large number of seals, mainly of 
glass and faience, that were placed as votive offerings 
in the nearby sanctuary at Chogha Zanbil, an Elam- 
ite ritual center founded by Untash-Napirisha 
(1340-1300 B.C.). This seal, which has no recorded 
archaeological context, 1 depicts two figures in an 
outdoor setting, marked by a tree. One stands, 
wearing what seems to be a horned headdress and a 
long robe with a fringed lower border, and extends a 
branch toward a kneeling worshiper, apparently a 
nude male, whose arms are raised toward three 
curved lines resembling flames issuing from a vessel 
or lamp. Hatched horizontal borders frame the 
scene. The seal is carved in a simple style with 
clearly defined, sharply curved outlines, flat surfaces, 
deeply cut details, and drill marks defining the hair. 

Examples from Chogha Zanbil depicting this rit- 
ual show clearly that the standing figure is a divin- 
ity. In one case the composition is more elaborate, 
bordered by rows of predatory birds and framed by 
an Akkadian inscription. 2 The inscription is re- 

Modern impression 


Small Finds: Sculptures and Seals | 157 

peated on fourteen cylinder seals from the site, most 
of them with banquet scenes interpreted by Edith 
Porada as court ceremonies. It reads: "It is for the 
god to [give] life, it is for the king to protect it; my 
god, I ask [or demand] of you."^ 

Porada noted in her study of the seals from 
Chogha Zanbil that a number of examples resemble 
the glyptic of early Kassite Mesopotamia, where 
we find parallels for the kneeling worshiper seen 
here. 4 Recent research by M.-J. Steve and Francois 
Vallat has revealed that the sanctuary was probably 
established in the second half of the fourteenth cen- 
tury B.C.; its founder, the Elamite king Untash- 
Napirisha, has been recognized as the son-in-law 
of the Kassite ruler Burnaburiash II (ca. 1359- 

1333 B.C.). 5 

The sanctuary contained a number of temples 
and chapels dedicated to Elamite and Mesopotamian 
deities; inscribed evidence suggests that one build- 
ing was dedicated to the god of light, Nusku, 6 whose 
symbols also appear in Kassite art. 7 While there is 
no sure evidence of fire cults at that time, an em- 
phasis on natural forces embodied in both vegetation 
and fire is manifest in the art and ritual of the Near 
East from the third millennium on. 


1. Mecquenem, 1927, p. 18, no. 37; Amiet, 1966, fig. 275; 
idem, 1972a, no. 2091; for another example see No. 149 in 
this catalogue, which has some stylistic similarities to this 
seal and may date to the late Middle Elamite period. 

2. Porada, 1970, p. 34, nos. 30-32. 

3. Translated from Akkadian to French as: "II est au dieu de 

[donner] la vie, il est au roi de sauver; mon dieu, je te [le] de- 
mande" or "[mon] dieu exige de toi": Porada, 1970, p. 50; and 
E. Reiner, 'Appendice: Legendes des cylindres," ibid., p. 134. 

4. Porada, 1970, pp. 7off.; see also idem, 1962, p. 48. 

5. Steve and Vallat, 1989, pp. 226ff. 

6. Steve, 1963, pp. io5ff. 

7. Steve, 1962, p. 59; Seidl, 1989, pp. 129-30. 

104 Cylinder seal with caprids flanking a 


Bitumen compound 

H. iV 4 in. (3.2 cm); diam. 2 / 2 in. (1.4 cm); string hole 
Vs in. (.3 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, ca. ljth-nth century B.C. 
Sb 7392 

As was noted in the discussion of Number 103, the 
glyptic arts of the Middle Elamite period at Susa re- 
flect the close political ties between Elam and Kassite 
Babylonia. A striking manifestation of this connec- 
tion is a seal from Susa that has parallels in Baby- 
lonia between the thirteenth and the eleventh cen- 
tury B.C., a time in which the Kassites were con- 
quered by Elam and succeeded by the second 
dynasty of Isin. The glyptic art of this period has 
been characterized as late or post-Kassite. 1 

The seal, one of several similar seals, is engraved 
with a depiction of rampant animals before a styl- 
ized sacred tree. 2 Two caprids flank a central date- 
palm with five blossoms (or leaves?) in a heraldic 
composition. A small monkey sits between the 

104 Modem impression 

158 I The Middle Elamite Period 

The slender caprids, with full chests and arched 
backs, are executed in a style characterized by 
strongly curving lines. They are closely related in 
appearance to the somewhat more ample figures of 
rampant bulls and goats with hatching on their 
bodies that flank trees on late-second-millennium 
Mesopotamian seals. 3 The tree on the seal from 
Susa, while lacking the ornamental quality of some 
Kassite examples,* shares their pointed oval leaves. It 
has two drooping blossoms and a triangular base 
with curving elements. Such trees also appear on 
bronze rings from Luristan that may date to the end 
of the second millennium B.C. 5 

The theme of animals flanking a stylized central 
tree is one of major importance in the art of the 
ancient Near East. It first occurs on Iranian seals in 
the Proto-Elamite period (see No. 45). The motif ap- 

pears during the Middle Elamite period at the sanc- 
tuary of Al Untash-Napirisha (Chogha Zanbil), on 
seals and on an ivory mosaic where a row of goats 
flanking ornamental trees is framed by an ornamen- 
tal border. 6 


1. Trokay (1981, pp. 14ft.) reviews the problems surrounding 
this period. See also Boehmer, 1981, pp. yitf.; Van Buren, 
1954, pp. iff. 

2. Amiet, 1972a, pi. 184, nos. 2121-23. 

3. Collon, 1987, p. 60, no. 248; Beran, 1958, p. 275, fig. 28; 
Van Buren, 1954, p. 28, pi. 3, fig. 17; Trokay, 1981, pp. 14ft. 

4. Trokay 1981, fig. 3a-b, for an example with a curvilinear 
canopy prefiguring the trees in Neo-Assyrian art. 

5. Porada, 1962, pp. 51-52, 76, fig. 47. For a discussion of this 
dating see Muscarella, 1988, pp. 132-33, fig. 210. 

6. Porada, 1970, pp. 49-56, pi. 15:16. 

Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa 

With the publication of the first volume of the Mem- 
ories de la Delegation en Perse in 1900 and then of six 
subsequent volumes between 1901 and 1905, a series of 
remarkable discoveries claimed the attention of the 
world. As the epigrapher Vincent Scheil wrote in 1902, 
Susa had proved, somewhat unexpectedly, to be an 
immensely rich source not only for the history of Iran 
but also for the history of Babylonia. 1 The French 
excavator Jacques de Morgan and his fellow workers 
had unearthed, in the early years of exploration on the 
Acropole mound, an extraordinary collection of Meso- 
potamian royal sculptures, victory monuments, and 
official records. The inscriptions on some of the works 
of art made it clear that the objects had been brought as 
booty to Susa from various cities in Mesopotamia 
plundered about 1158 B.C. by the victorious Elamite 
monarch Shutruk-Nahhunte I. As excavations pro- 
ceeded at Susa, other objects executed in Mesopota- 
mian style were unearthed — works that may have 
been made at the site during periods of Mesopotamian 
rule or that came as gifts or exchanges from Meso- 
potamia to Elam. In the absence of inscriptions and a 
meaningful archaeological context, it is not always 
possible to assign Mesopotamian works found at Susa 
to one or the other of these categories: booty, local 
production, or gift and exchange. The renowned "head 
of Hammurabi" (No. 113) for instance, is considered 
by some scholars to be part of the plunder brought to 

Susa from Babylonia by Elamite rulers, while others 
see in this sensitively rendered image the portrait of 
a Susian prince made by a craftsman working in a 
Mesopotamian style at the site. 

Unquestionably the most impressive and signifi- 
cant Mesopotamian works of art are those booty ob- 
jects that bear original Akkadian inscriptions naming 
the ruler who commissioned the work and the place 
where the monument was set up. Secondary inscrip- 
tions of the Elamite monarch Shutruk-Nahhunte 
occasionally name the vanquished enemy as well as the 
site from which the king carried off his prize. Into this 
class of objects falls the great victory stele of the 
Akkadian king Naram-Sin (2254-2218 B.C.), taken 
from Sippar in central Mesopotamia (No. 109). From 
Akkad, in the same region, Shutruk-Nahhunte 
brought the polished diorite 2 sculpture of the Akka- 
dian king Manishtushu (No. 107). 

According to the original Akkadian inscription, 
another famous Mesopotamian monument found at 
Susa, the Code of Laws of the Babylonian ruler Ham- 
murabi (figs. 44, 45P was erected at Sippar in the 
temple of the sun god Shamash. In this instance no 
secondary Elamite inscription exists to document the 
later history of the monument and to inform us of the 
circumstances under which it came to Susa. Only a 
smoothed area, perhaps intended to receive a later 
Elamite text, remains on the back of the stele. 4 


i6o | The Mesopotamian Presence 

Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa | 161 

The presence of the Akkadian inscriptions on some 
of the booty objects is evidence that defacement of the 
primary texts was not a standard policy of the Elamite 
conquerors. This hypothesis gains support from the 
text of Shutruk-Nahhunte's inscription on the victory 
stele of Naram-Sin. The Elamite king speaks of the 
monument and expressly states that he " protected it 
and . . . brought it to Elam." In fact, the original 
inscription, including the name of the Akkadian king, 
is still partly preserved. Other sculptures taken from 
Eshnunna in central Mesopotamia have suffered mu- 
tilation, and the Akkadian inscriptions have been 
almost completely removed, an act often attributed to 
Shutruk-Nahhunte. It is possible, however, that the 
defacement of the works occurred before the Elamite 
conqueror carried off his prizes to Susa, since the 
name of the ruler represented is omitted in the second- 
ary Elamite inscriptions and may therefore have been 
unknown to the Elamite king (see No. 112). The condi- 
tion of one of the Eshnunna sculptures found at Susa 
and of royal statues found at other Mesopotamian sites, 
such as Sippar and Larsa, testifies to recurring epi- 
sodes of damage and mutilation. Holes for ancient 
repairs in the area where the head and hands were once 
reattached are proof that the royal sculptures were 
damaged on more than one occasion. 

The Mesopotamian monuments set up at Susa in 
antiquity were both impressive and varied. Shutruk- 
Nahhunte and his son, Kutir-Nahhunte, are known 
from textual references to have taken objects not only 
from Sippar, Akkad, and Eshnunna, as the works in 
this exhibition demonstrate, but also from other sites 
in Mesopotamia — Dur Kurigalzu, Opis, and Baby- 
lon. ^ Moreover, Shutruk-Nahhunte gathered at Susa 
significant religious and dynastic monuments from 
cities within Elam as well, from Anshan and Chogha 
Zanbil (No. 80). 

The history of the many Mesopotamian works of 
art that bear no Akkadian or Elamite inscriptions 
remains clouded. A stele surmounted by the image of 
a Mesopotamian ruler and a god (No. 110) was found, 
in part, in Morgan trench 7 on the Acropole mound. 
This trench and the ones adjacent to it were the source, 
in the early years of excavation at Susa, of many of the 
Mesopotamian booty monuments described above. 
The relief may therefore have been set up with the 
Mesopotamian spoils in the temple of the Elamite god 
Inshushinak, as the inscriptions on some of the other 
Mesopotamian works imply. But it is also conceivable 
that this official monument, possibly a law code, was 
erected at Susa when the city was under the control of 

the kings of Ur or some other Mesopotamian power. 

As complex as the history of the Mesopotamian 
monuments before their arrival at Susa is the question 
of where they were installed when they reached the 
city. Because so many of the objects are among the 
earliest finds made at the site, the archaeological 
record is meager, and it is impossible to reconstruct 
their ancient setting with certainty. On the south side 
of the Acropole, Morgan and his colleagues dug tun- 
nels and trenches into the mound with little attention 
to the ancient levels of occupation, whose significance 
they neither recognized nor investigated. 6 Descending 
into the mound in trenches each ninety meters long 
and five meters wide (295 X16Y2 ft.) — Morgan 
trenches 7 and ja — south of the temple of In- 
shushinak, they came upon remains of an extensive 
pavement and recorded the discovery of many of the 
major Mesopotamian works six to sixteen feet beneath 
the surface of the mound. 

Were the Mesopotamian objects that Shutruk- 
Nahhunte claims in his inscriptions to have brought 
back to the glory of his god, Inshushinak, set up in a 
special location in a temple of this god? In Meso- 
potamia the great temple of the sun god, Shamash, at 
Sippar incorporated within its walls a similar treasure 
of ancient monuments, royal sculptures from different 
cities and lands, and Babylonian boundary stones. 7 
Unfortunately, the record of the Sippar excavation is 
also inadequate. Hormuzd Rassam, who worked at the 
site on behalf of the British Museum, left only a plan 
of the great temple and little other relevant informa- 
tion. Where precisely he found the objects that subse- 
quently entered the British Museum is for the most 
part unrecorded and unknown. 

At other sites in Mesopotamia, notably Babylon 
and Nineveh, repositories for ancient objects and doc- 
uments were located in palace areas. At Babylon a 
varied collection of antiquities gathered by the Neo- 
Babylonian kings was found in the area of the North- 
ern Palace, or Principal Citadel. 8 At Nineveh the great 
library of Ashurbanipal (668-627 B.C.) was unearthed 
in the Northern Palace of Ashurbanipal and the South- 
west Palace of Sennacherib. The tablets had been col- 
lected with care and design by the king, who claimed 
to have "arranged them in classes, revised them, and 
placed them in my palace so that I can read them."? 

The term "museum" is often employed for such 
palace and temple collections, but this word in modern 
usage hardly reflects the meaning and significance 
that lay behind the search for and preservation of 
monuments and records. In the ancient Near Eastern 

162 The Mesopotamian Presence 

world both images and texts were believed to retain 
their power and relevance over the centuries. They 
were essential strands in the fabric of life, binding the 
past to the future and preserving evidence of divine 
sanction and authority. 10 In the ancient texts of Meso- 
potamia and Elam there are references to the seizure 
and transport of statues of gods and rulers from con- 
quered cities. This was a bitter form of punishment, as 
the loss of the image of the city divinity represented 
"the inexorable disruption of the cult and implied the 
withdrawal of divine favors/' 11 Similarly the seizure 
of images of rulers and of official monuments signified 
a transfer of secular power and authority. 

The present condition of the Mesopotamian monu- 
ments found at Susa is varied. Some works are rela- 
tively undamaged (the victory stele of Naram-Sin 
[No. 109], the Law Code of Hammurabi, certain Baby- 
lonian boundary stones [Nos. 115, 116]), while other 
objects were smashed and defaced (Akkadian victory 
monuments [Nos. 105, 106] and Babylonian boundary 
stones). As noted above, a few of the Mesopotamian 
pieces show signs of ancient repair and recarving, indi- 
cating a history of restoration, adaptation, and even, in 
some instances, mutilation while they were at Susa. A 
large share of the blame for the massive destruction of 
monuments and buildings at Susa generally falls on 
the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, who counted among 
his enemies not only the Elamites but also the Babylo- 
nian rulers of southern Mesopotamia. The king boasts 
of his ravages of the site (646 B.C.) and graphically 
describes them in his palace reliefs and in his texts (see 
No. 189). However, Susa was destroyed and overrun at 
many other times before and after the reign of Ashur- 
banipal. Later, during the period of Seleucid Greek 
rule, some destruction of Achaemenid monuments 
may have occurred, and the French excavator Lampre 
suggested that it was the Greeks who contributed to 
the damage of many hard stone (diorite) sculptures 
(e.g., No. 111) by using these images, meaningless to 
them, as grinding stones on which to sharpen weapons 
or tools. 12 A final massive destruction of the city of 
Susa before the beginning of the Islamic era took place 
in the mid-fourth century a.d. , when the Iranian 
Sasanian king Shapur II leveled the city after a revolt 
and "caused elephants to trample on the remains."^ 
The Mesopotamian works of art found at Susa 
provide important historical and art-historical infor- 
mation concerning both Mesopotamia and Elam, but 
they also raise a number of questions. In this respect 
they are a reflection of the complex history of Susa — 
an independent Elamite royal city, an occasional satel- 

lite of Mesopotamia, and, above all, a major cultural, 
political, and economic center on the plain of south- 
western Iran. 

prudence o. harper 


1. Scheil, 1902, p. 12. 

2. Without analysis, diorite and gabbro cannot be distinguished. 
The term diorite is used in this catalogue. 

3 . [The correct name, historically and etymologically is probably 
"Hammurapi/' but "Hammurabi" has long been common us- 
age, probably since antiquity — mws] 

4. Morgan, 1903d, pp. 28-29; MDP 4 (1902), pp. 11-131. For a 
discussion of the extent of Babylonian control at Susa in the 
period of Hammurabi, see Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 30-31. 

5. Carter and Stolper, 1984, p. 40. 

6. Morgan, 1900c, pp. 100-110. 

7. Walker and Collon, 1980, vol. 3, pp. 93-114, plan 3. 

8. Koldewey, 1914, pp. 156-69; J. Oates, 1979, pp. 151-52, 162, 
figs. 82, 133. For a "museum" at Ur, see Woolley, 1962, p. 18. 

9. Pallis, 1956, p. 724. 

10. Cogan, 1974, pp. 22-41; Goossens, 1948, pp. 149-59; Hallo, 
1983, pp. 1-17. 

11. Hallo, 1983, p. 13. 

12. Lampre, 1900, pp. 107, 108. This damage could as well have 
occurred in the later Parthian and Sasanian periods, when 
many of the monuments, some incorporated in walls, were still 
at hand. On gradual decay rather than violent destruction of the 
Achaemenid palaces, see Boucharlat, 1990a, pp. 225-33. 

13. Richard N. Frye, 'The Political History of Iran under the 
Sasanians," in E. Yarshater, ed., The Cambridge History of 
Iran, vol. 3:1 (Cambridge, 1983), p. 136. 

105 Fragment of a victory stele 


H. 18V8 in. (46 cm); w. i^ 3 / 4 in. (35 cm) 
Akkadian period, reign of Sargon, ca. 2300 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 3 
Excavated by Morgan. 

About 2340 B.C. , Sargon of Akkad subjugated the 
old Sumerian-type cities and founded an empire. He 
commissioned an official art designed to exalt the 
imperial ideology; its predominant motif was the 
royal victory illustrated on steles that were produced 
in series. Many of these were carried off to Susa by 
the Elamites twelve hundred years later. They were 
broken there by the Babylonians, ironically during 
retaliatory campaigns at the end of the twelfth 

Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa | 163 

Only a fragment of this stele survives. 1 An 
Akkadian warrior is pictured wearing a wide scarf 
that protects his chest and holding a weapon with a 
curved blade attached to a wooden handle. He 
pushes before him two prisoners, stripped of their 
clothing, whose hands are tied behind their backs. 
On what remains of an upper register we can see an 
enemy, who has been stabbed, falling at the feet of 
the conquerors. On the basis of style and subject we 
can attribute this fragment to a larger monument 
(fig. 46)^ on which the king, Sargon, leads his 
army; his name is inscribed in front of his head. 
Above was a scene of the vanquished enemy being 
taken into captivity or massacred; only half of this 
register has survived. 

The relief sculpture, unlike that of the preceding 
period, demonstrates a concern for realism that is 
manifested in the volumetric handling of anatomical 
features — still somewhat exaggerated, although to 
become less so subsequently. This artifact also illus- 
trates mastery in the carving of diorite, a very hard 
stone imported by sea from a land called Magan in 
the texts, probably the Oman peninsula. 


1. Jequier, 1905, pp. 22-23, pi. 18 ; Amiet, 1976b, pp. 11 fig. 6, 
75 no. 5, 125 no. 5; Borker-Klahn, 1982, text: pp. 129-30, 
no. 20, plates: no. 20. 

2. Amiet, 1976b, pp. 71-73 no. 1, 125 no. 1. 


Figure 46. Drawing of fragments of a stele of Sargon I. Stele found on the Acropole mound, Susa; 
Akkadian, ca. 2334-2279 B.C. Diorite, h. 36 in. (91 cm). Paris, Musee du Louvre, Sb 1 

164 i The Mesopotamian Presence 

106 Fragment of a victory stele 


H. 2iV 2 in. (54.7 cm); w. 10V4 in. (26 cm) 
Akkadian period, reign of Sargon, ca. 2300 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2 
Excavated by Morgan. 

An ancient Sumerian theme, taken up much later in 
the Bible (Ezekiel 12:13), * s depicted on this conical 
summit of a stele. 1 The king snares his enemies in a 
net, strikes their chief whose head juts out of the 
net, and dedicates their lives to Ishtar, the goddess of 
war (and, secondarily in this case, of love), who sits 
enthroned on a platform. 

Little has survived of the king, who holds a 
mace, or of the goddess, adorned with curved 
weapons. This scene corresponds to an episode in 

the history of Sargon, transmitted to us by As- 
syrian sages: " Sargon . . . crushed their great army, 
[then] tied their possessions to them and declared: 
This is yours, Ishtar!' " The way the nude bodies of 
the vanquished enemies are stylized shows that this 
stele fragment and the preceding one (No. 105) be- 
long to the same series. A few remnants of an in- 
scription mention the god Aba, protector of the 
Akkadian monarchy. 


1. Nassouhi, 1924, pp. 70-72, figs. 5-7; Amiet, 1976b, pp. 12 
fig. 7, 76 no. 6, 125 no. 6; Borker-Klahn, 1982, Text: p. 129, 
no. 19, Plates: no. 19. 

106, two views 

Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa | 165 

107 Statue of Manishtushu 


H. in, (88 cm); w. 2i 5 /s in. (55 cm) 
Akkadian period, ca. 2260 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 47, hands Sb 9099 
Excavated by Morgan; hands excavated by 
Mecquenem, 1924 

Manishtushu, the third king of Akkad, left a text in 
which he celebrates the maritime expedition he un- 
dertook and the diorite he brought back for his 

sculptures. Thereafter, monumental statuary seems 
to have flourished, under the patronage of the king. 
From an Elamite inscription added in the twelfth 
century B.C. we know that this work was taken from 
the city of Akkad itself, whose location remains a 
mystery. The base of this statue probably had a 
scene like the one on a very similar statue showing 
the king trampling the corpses of enemies; thus, this 
statue too must have been a victory monument. A 
concern for realism finds expression in the unusually 
skillful rendering of the spiral folds of the garment 


166 | The Mesopotamian Presence 

107, detail 

and in the fluid, delicate treatment of the clasped 
hands. 1 


1. Amiet, 1972c, pp. 99-103, figs. 2-4; idem, 1976b, pp. 19-20, 
81, 126, no. 13; Spycket, 1981, pp. 151-52, pi. 100. 

108 Tribute bearer 


H. 3 7 /s in. (10 cm); w. yA in. (10 cm) 
Akkadian period, ca. 2260 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 45 
Excavated by Morgan. 

This fragment from the carved base of a victory 
stele or a royal statue depicts a human figure carry- 
ing a footed cup. 1 Since the vessel is of a type char- 


acteristic of the Indian Harappan civilization, the 
figure must be a foreign tribute bearer paying hom- 
age to the Akkadian king. The sculptural handling 
of anatomical features and the still awkward attempt 
to represent the bust in profile illustrate the concern 
with realism characteristic of the Akkadian period. 


1. Amiet, 1976b, pp. 24, 88, 127: no. 20. 

109 Victory stele of Naram-Sin 


H. 6 ft. 6 3 / 4 in. (200 cm); w. 4i 3 /s in. (105 cm) 
Akkadian period, ca. 2254-2218 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 4 

Excavated by Morgan, April 6, 1898. 
(See the Conservation Report, pp. 285-86,) 

The Elamite inscription added in the twelfth century 
B.C. states that this stele was taken from Sippar (to 
the north of Babylon), "protected" (instead of being 
destroyed as was customary), and "brought to the 
land of Elam," whose capital was Susa. The original 
inscription, which is fragmentary, describes the 
campaign of the deified Akkadian king Naram-Sin 
against the Lullubi mountain people. This subject is 
illustrated on the bas-relief in a scene centered 
around the monumental figure of the king, who 
wears the horned helmet symbolizing divine power. 
He is at the head of his army as they climb up the 
slopes of the mountain. The king tramples on the 
bodies of vanquished enemies while other prisoners 
beg for mercy. They wear animal hides like those 
worn much later in the same region by the Medes, 
who are represented in that garb on a relief from the 
period of Sargon of Assyria (721-705 B.C.). 

The scene reproduces (or perhaps was the model 
for) scenes of the mythological combat of the young 
gods, patron-gods of the Akkadian kings, who hurl 
the vanquished gods into the depths of the mountain 
that symbolizes the netherworld. At the summit of 
the mountain shine at least three stars, symbols of 
the king's patron-gods. This grandiose scene thus 
unites all the episodes expressing the mythological 
and historical conceptions of kingship — usually 
elaborated in a series of registers — into a single 
comprehensive vision. The ascending composition 
and the sculptural quality of the figures characterize 

168 | The Mesopotamian Presence 

Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa | 169 

110 Top of a stele with scene of a libation 
before a god 

White limestone 

H. 26¥s in. (67 cm); W. 24V8 in. (62 cm) 
Late 3rd millennium B.C. 
Acropole, trench 7 (lower fragment); Sb 7 
Excavated by Morgan, 1898 (lower fragment). 
(See the Conservation Report, pp. 286-87.) 

This upper portion of a stele, reconstructed from 
pieces excavated at different times at Susa, is finely 
executed in a southern Mesopotamian style of the 
late third millennium B.C. 1 It is arched at the top 
and has vertical sides and a carved front surface. The 
back is rough and unfinished. Impurities in the 
limestone have left uneven holes in the surface, and 
a carved circular hole on the skirt of the seated god 
retains traces of lead. The lead held in place a stone 
plug, visible in the earliest photograph and still par- 
tially preserved. 

On the front surface of the stele is a scene com- 
parable to many representations in Mesopotamian 
art of the late third millennium B.C. The enthroned 
god, perhaps Shamash, facing to the left, holds in 
his right hand a rod and circlet. The god is ap- 
proached by a male figure, probably a Mesopota- 
mian ruler, whose head is now missing. In the right 
hand this figure holds a vessel with a long, almost 
vertical spout, from which a libation is poured onto 
an altar. A plant motif consisting of a palm frond 
and two clusters of dates rises from this altar. 2 At 
the summit of the stele is a representation of a disk 
on which there is a star with eight points alternating 
with eight groups of undulating rays. This form of 
the sun-disk motif has an exact parallel on the vic- 
tory stele of Naram-Sin (No. 109), and it is similar 
but not identical to that of the disk carved on a 
cruder rock relief of Annubanini, a local king of the 
Lullubi tribe in southwestern Iran. 3 On all of these 
monuments the disk appears alone without the cres- 
cent moon below, an innovation that appears in the 
art of Mesopotamia at some point during the Ur III 
period (2112-2004 B.C.). 4 

The composition of the scene on the Susa stele 
resembles the imagery at the summit of the diorite 
Code of Laws of Hammurabi (ca. 1792-1750 B.C.) 
(fig. 44, p. 160). 5 However, the spacing of the figures 
on the limestone stele is open and uncrowded in 
spite of the inclusion of an additional element, the 
date-palm altar, which is not present on Ham- 
murabi's monument. The elaborate temple-facade 

throne on which the god sits is unusual in detail 
but is a common throne type on monuments dating 
from the late Akkadian period (ca. 2250) to the 
early second millennium B.C. 6 The curving termi- 
nals of the upper throne seat on the limestone stele 
are closer in form to throne supports on monuments 
dating to the Ur III period in Mesopotamia than to 
the throne of the god Shamash on the Old Babylo- 
nian Code of Laws of Hammurabi. On the stele 
found at Susa the dress of both figures and the 
crown of the god are shown full front, a common 
artistic device before the time of Hammurabi. The 
finely detailed, fringed garment of the god falls in 
registers over the body, and the layers of fleece are 
further divided vertically into bunches by open 
spaces that appear regularly between the groups of 
strands. As elaborate in detail as this garment (a 
type that appears commonly on works of the late 
third and early second millennia B.C.) but more un- 
usual is one of the two necklaces worn by the god 
and partially covered by his long beard. Roundels, 
some perhaps beaded, alternating with narrow beads 
are strung around the neck. 

The scene on the limestone stele is one that 
frequently appears on cylinder seals of the Early 
Dynastic (ca. 2900-2334 B.C.) through the Ur III 
period. It is considerably rarer in the following Old 
Babylonian period (ca. 1800-1600 B.C.). As Domi- 
nique Collon remarks, the iconographic motif of the 
ruler pouring a libation onto a date-palm altar be- 
fore a deity is particularly common on cylinder seals 
found at Ur and also is found on seals from Tello 
(Girsu) in southern Mesopotamia. 7 Similar imagery 
appears on the great stone stele of Ur-Nammu 
(2112-2095) also found at Ur and now in Phila- 
delphia (fig. 47). 8 

As only the upper part of the stele from Susa re- 
mains and there is no trace of an inscription, it is 
impossible to ascertain the original function of the 
piece or the identity of the ruler for whom it was 
made and of the god represented. In the art of Mes- 
opotamia the scene of a ritual libation poured into a 
symbolic plant before a god reflects the role of the 
king as "maintainer of the fertility of the land/' and 
the association of the king with the sun god, Sham- 
ash, on the Law Code of Hammurabi is a reference 
to the royal person as the administrator of justice. 9 
In the Sumerian Law Code of Ur-Nammu, the role 
of the ruler is to " establish justice." The prologue to 
this early law code also mentions offerings made in 
the name of Ur-Nammu. This reference to a ritual 


Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa | 171 

Figure 47. Detail of a stele depicting 
the Mesopotamian ruler Ur-Nammu 
pouring a libation before the god 
Nanna. Ur, Iraq, Ur III period, 
ca. 2112-2095 B.C. Limestone; entire 
stele, H. 9 ft. 11 in. (302 cm). Phila- 
delphia, University Museum of Ar- 
chaeology and Anthropology, 
University of Pennsylvania, B16676 

act is absent in the prologue to Hammurabi's Code 
and, correspondingly, the image of the date-palm 
altar does not appear on that monument. 10 

In an inscription of the Elamite ruler Attahushu 
(ca. 1927 B.C.), mention is made of a "stele of jus- 
tice" set up in the "market" at Susa. 11 If the en- 
throned god is indeed Shamash, the white limestone 
stele fragments found at Susa may be remains of 
such a code set up at Susa during an earlier period, 
by the kings of the Third Dynasty of Ur, when Susa 
was under Mesopotamian rule. Alternatively, this 
significant dynastic monument, which was found 
with other impressive Mesopotamian works of art in 
Morgan trench 7 on the Acropole mound, may have 
been booty carried off by an Elamite invader, per- 
haps Kindattu (ca. 2005 B.C.), who conquered Ur 
and was probably responsible for bringing Ibbi-Sin, 
the last king of the Third Dynasty of Ur, captive to 
Elam. 12 

1. Morgan, 1900c, pi. 3; Pezard and Pottier, 1926, no. 7, p. 40, 
pi. 3; Borker-Klahn, 1982, no. 100, p. 161 , pi. 100; Barrelet, 
1974, p. 102, f. 109. 

2. Danthine, 1937, pi. 78, no. 523. 

3. Vanden Berghe, 1983, p. 21. 

4. Collon, 1982, p. 132. 

5. For a discussion of Babylonian and earlier law codes see Fin- 
kelstein, 1961, pp. 91-104. 

6. Metzger, 1985, pp. 152-55, 170-72, 185-86, figs. 634, 635, 

733' 734- 

7. Collon, 1982, p. 139. 

8. Winter, 1986, pi. 63. 

9. Ibid., pp. 261, 264. 

10. Seux, 1986, pp. 15-16; Kramer, 1983, pp. 453-56; idem, 
1989, pp. 77-82. For texts describing a "considerable corpus 
of major representational sculpture" in the Ur III period, see 
Winter, 1987, pp. 69ff. 

11. Scheil, 1939, pp. 4-7. 

12. Carter and Stolper, 1984, p. 20. 


The Mesopotamian Presenc e 

111 Statue of a seated ruler 

Inscribed in Akkadian and Elamite 

H. 35 in. (89 cm); w. zo'A in. (52 cm) 
Late yd-early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 61 

Brought to Susa from the city of Eshnunna in cen- 
tral Mesopotamia by the Elamite king Shutruk- 
Nahhunte about 1158 B.C. , this substantial diorite 
figure of an enthroned Mesopotamian ruler retains 
only a trace of the original Akkadian inscription, 
which has largely been effaced. The secondary 
Elamite inscription, added by the conqueror, states: 

I am Shutruk-Nahhunte, son of Halludush- 
Inshushinak, king of Anshan and Susa, who has en- 
larged the realm, master of Elam, sovereign of the 
land of Elam. Inshushinak, my god, having granted it 
to me, I have destroyed Eshnunna; I have taken away 
from there the statue and I have brought it to the 
country of Elam. I have offered it to [placed it before] 
Inshushinak, my god. 1 

Among the images carried off from Eshnunna, 
this example is exceptionally large and is made of a 
prized stone, diorite, brought from a distant land. 2 
These facts have led some scholars to suggest that 
the figure represents Hammurabi, the great ruler 
of Babylon (1792-1750 B.C.), who conquered Esh- 
nunna and incorporated that state into his kingdom. 
However, attributions by scholars to this statue of 
another diorite fragment found at Susa and inscribed 
with the name of Hammurabi are inaccurate, as 
there is no break on the statue to accommodate the 
fragment. 3 

Some years ago Thorkild Jacobsen published a 
year name given by a ruler [ishakku) of Eshnunna, 
Ur-Ningizzida (early twentieth century B.C.): "The 
year in which a seated stone statue was made."^ Al- 
though the seated figure referred to is, in Jacobsen s 
opinion, probably not the Susa diorite sculpture but 
rather a limestone statue (Sb 58) also found at Susa, 
the mention in a year name of the manufacture of 
such a statue is an indication of the significance of 
these royal images. 

Missing from this sculpture are the head and 
parts of the feet, and the smoothed surface of the 
break at the neck implies extensive reuse of the 
sculpture at some time after the initial damage (see 
page 161). The seated ruler wears a plain togalike 

garment, which is wound around the body and 
leaves one shoulder bare. The seams of the garment 
are thickened and rounded but lack any other form 
of decoration. Jewelry includes a necklace and two 
bracelets. Strung on the strands of the necklace are 
two groups of triple beads rather than the more cus- 
tomary single set. 5 An elaborate bracelet on the 
right wrist is decorated with a stone. 

Since the original Akkadian inscription has been 
largely obliterated, the identity of this figure and 
consequently the date of the statue are uncertain. 
Convincing art-historical arguments have been made 
for assigning this work to the end of the third mil- 
lennium B.C., a period somewhat earlier than that of 
the other Eshnunna sculptures found at Susa. 6 In 
support of this early date is the form of the beard, in 
which the lower twisted locks are portrayed as short 
oblique lines rising from either side toward a central 
vertical line dividing the beard into two parts that 
are mirror images of each other. This method of de- 
picting the lower locks of the beard has a parallel on 
an Akkadian copper head (ca. 2250 B.C.) found at 
Nineveh in northern Mesopotamia/ but on later 
monuments, of the early second millennium B.C., 
these curls are invariably defined by short lines that 
run down rather than up toward the central division. 

The drapery worn by the figure lacks the elabo- 
rate tasseled fringes appearing on other, similar 
ruler images from Eshnunna, Larsa, and Nippur, but 
the chronological significance of this detail is uncer- 
tain, and the togalike garment was in general use 
both in Mesopotamia and at Susa in the latter part 
of the third and the early part of the second millen- 
nia B.C. 8 At present, a date for this monumental 
image in the late third millennium B.C., somewhat 
earlier than Hammurabi or Ur-Ningizzida, is proba- 
ble if not certain. 


1. A single sign remains from an inscription earlier than the in- 
scription of Shutruk-Nahhunte. In the Elamite inscription, 
only the first sign in the name Eshnunna is preserved. The 
word statue does not appear to have been followed by the 
name of a king (personal communications from Beatrice 
Andre-Salvini). This English text is based on the French 
translation by Franchise Grillot provided by Beatrice Andre- 

2. The source of diorite given in the ancient texts is Magan 
(Oman?); Amiet, 1976b, p. 18. For the availability of diorite 
in the central Zagros mountain region and in central Iran, see 
A. Schuller, UVB 19 (1963), cited by Seidl, 1989, p. 69. 

3. A. Moortgat, 1969, p. 90, pi. 221; Pezard and Pottier, 1926, 

pp. 191-92, no. 463, and see also p. 62, no. 58; Barrelet 111 

174 I The Mesopotamian Presence 

(1974, p. 106) questioned where the fragment might fit the 

4. Frankfort, Lloyd, and Jacobsen, 1940, p. 185, date formula 91; 
and see pp. 196-200 for the sequence of Eshnunna rulers in 
the late third and early second millennia B.C. See also Wil- 
liam W. Hallo, "The Cultic Setting of Sumerian Poetry/' in 
Andre Finet, ed., Actes de la ij e Rencontre Assyriologique 
Internationale (Brussels, 1970), pp. 116-34. I thank Holly 
Pittman for this reference. 

5. The duplication of the triple set of stones on this statue and on 
another image from Eshnunna (Sb 58) may be an artistic de- 
vice, as the beard covers the center of the necklace where the 
single group of triple beads usually appears (see No. 112). On 
a comparable statue from Nippur the artist has found a differ- 
ent solution and has simply rotated the necklace off center so 
that the single group of three beads appears over the right 
breast (see n. 8, below). 

6. Schlossman, 1978-79, pp. 56-77. See also Spycket, 1981, 
P- 2 39- 

7. Mallowan, 1936, pi. 6; Orthmann, 1975, no. 48. 

8. For Nippur: Hilprecht, 1903, p. 385. For Larsa: Spycket, 
1981, p. 239, pi. 164; Margueron, 1971, p. 280, pi 17:1, 2. 

112 Statue of a standing ruler 

Inscribed in Akkadian and Elamite 

H. 2^h in. (62 cm); w. 10V4 in. {26 cm) 
Early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 56 

Of the group of statues carried off from Eshnunna 
in Mesopotamia to Susa by Shutruk-Nahhunte 
(ca. 1158 B.C.), this sensitive rendering of a standing 
male is perhaps the finest work of art. 1 A balance is 
maintained between modeled surfaces and linear 
decoration; the smooth, swelling muscles of the 
arms and the undulating surface of the drapery are 
complimented by the delicate linear rendering of the 
beard and the strands of the triple-beaded necklace 
and the bracelets. As is customary the bracelet on 
the right wrist is the most elaborate in design. 

The form of the beard, trimmed at the base in a 
curving line and lacking spiral curls, is without par- 
allel on the other ruler images taken to Susa from 
Eshnunna. However, it also appears on sculptures 
made at Susa late in the third millennium B.C. 2 and 
in Mesopotamia and Syria in the late third and 
early second millennia B.C. 3 A copper head of a 
ruler in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, made 
around 2000 B.C. probably in the region of western 
Iran bordering on Eshnunna (fig. 49, p. 176), dis- 
plays the same naturalistic treatment of the beard 
curls. 4 

The original Akkadian inscription on the front of 


Mesopotamian Monuments Found at Susa | 175 

the garment of this statue was almost completely 
effaced in antiquity and a new Elamite inscription 
was added on the figure's right side by the Elamite 
king Shutruk-Nahhunte.5 In this inscription the 
name of Eshnunna is given but not the name of the 
ruler who commissioned the image, which was 
later dedicated by Shutruk-Nahhunte to his god, 
Inshushinak. This omission may be an indication 
that the original Akkadian text had already been 
effaced before the statue was taken from Eshnunna 
(see p. 161). 


1. Scheil/1905, pp. 12-13, pi- 3; Spycket, 1981, p. 238, pi. 162. 

2. Amiet, 1976b, pp. 41, 108, figs. 56, 57 (Puzur-Inshushinak, 
ca. 2100 B.C.). 

3. Amiet, 1980a, fig. 452 (2oth-i9th-century Ebla king Ibbit- 
Lim); see also an Akkadian sculpture from Assur: Orth- 
mann, 1975, figs. 42a, b. 

4. Accession no. 47.100.80; Orthmann, 1975, pi. 284, p. 381. 

5. Konig, 1965, pp. 77-78, no. 24c; Scheil, 1905, p. 12, pi. 3. 
One curious feature of this inscription is the blank space 
where the name of the king might be expected to appear. 
Barrelet (1974, p. 108, f. 123) mistakenly attributes the in- 
scription on Sb 57 to this sculpture, Sb 56. Similarly, Hallo 
(1961, p. 13) cites the illustration of Susa Sb 56 published in 
MDP 6, pi. 3, but then refers to the inscription quoted by 
Jacobsen, which in fact appears not on Sb 56 but on Sb 57. 
The only remains of the Akkadian inscription are a few "un- 
readable signs" (personal communication from Beatrice 

113 Head of a ruler 


H. y/s in. (15 cm); w. 4 7 /s in. (12.5 cm) 
Early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sfc 95 

One of the better known sculptures from the ancient 
Near Eastern world is this head of a man portrayed 
in the fashion of Mesopotamian rulers of the late 
third and early second millennia B.C. Identified by 
many scholars, including the late Henri Frankfort, a 
pioneer historian of ancient Near Eastern art, as a 
work of the Old Babylonian period (ca. 1800-1600 
B.C.) and possibly as an image of the aged monarch 
Hammurabi (1792-1750 B.C.), the sculpture is a re- 
markable expression of character and strength. 1 The 
lines under the eyes and on either side of the nostrils 
give the cheeks a sunken, modulated form and the 
head a world-weary, disillusioned appearance, which 
is compared by Edith Porada to that of the portraits 


of the Egyptian pharaohs Sesostris III (1887-1850 
B.C.) and Amenemhet III (1850-1800 B.C.). 2 Be- 
cause of the shape of the cap, a Mesopotamian royal 
headdress, and the treatment of the eyebrows, hair, 
and beard, the head found at Susa is generally iden- 
tified as a Mesopotamian work brought as booty to 
Elam, perhaps with other sculptures from Eshnunna 
in the twelfth century. 3 

Although hardly a portrait in our sense of the 
word, the head conveys a feeling of mood and per- 
sonality that is distinctive and largely absent from 
the art of southern Mesopotamia and Syria in the 
late third and early second millennia B.C. Less well 
documented is the art of central Mesopotamia and 
neighboring western and northern Iran in the period 
around 2100-1900 B.C. Two copper heads, one in 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other in 
the Cincinnati Art Museum (figs. 49, 48), were al- 

176 I The Mesopotamian Presence 

Figure 48. Head of a ruler. Iran(?), ca. 2000 B.C. Arsenical copper, 
H. 6Yh in. (15.5 cm). Cincinnati Art Museum, Purchase, 1958.520 

legedly found in the part of Iran bordering on the 
region of Eshnunna in Mesopotamia. 4 They are also 
naturalistic renderings of individuals having a dis- 
tinctive appearance. The larger of the two heads, the 
sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum, while quite 
different in style from the Susa head, displays some 
of the same naturalistic features: depressions under 
the eyes, modeled cheeks, and a beard that real- 
istically follows the curve of the cheekbones. Al- 
though the date of the two copper heads is disputed, 
a period just before or after 2000 B.C. seems likely. 
The particular interest of the two copper sculptures 
and the diorite head from Susa lies in the fact that 
they provide examples of impressionistic and natu- 
ralistic sculptural styles for which there is little evi- 
dence in the stone and metal sculpture of southern 
Mesopotamia preserved from this period around the 
turn of the millennium. 

The diorite head found at Susa probably predates 
the era of Hammurabi of Babylon because of certain 
stylistic details: the shape of the beard, the wavy 
strands of hair on the forehead, and the curls hang- 
ing down the neck at the back.^ Nevertheless, this is 

Figure 49. Head of a ruler. Iran(?), ca. 2000 B.C. Arsenical copper, 
H. 13/2 in. (34.3 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers 
Fund, 1947 (47.100.80) 

an unusual work of art, a sensitive rendering of a 
ruler that vividly reflects the mood of a world in 
movement during a time of uncertain stability in the 
kingdoms of Elam, Babylon, and Eshnunna. 


1. Frankfort, 1954, p. 59, pi. 63. See also Spycket, 1981, p. 245, 
pi. 168. 

2. Porada, 1956, p. 123. At a later date Porada suggested that the 
head might be an image of a noble of Susa, in other words a 
local work of art made at Susa: Orthmann, 1975, p. 381. 

3. Orthmann, 1975, no. 158, pp. 291-92. Another suggestion 
by B. Schlossman is that the head represents Sumulael (ca. 
1880-1845 B.C.), a predecessor of Hammurabi: Schlossman, 
1981-82, pp. 155-56. See also Porada, cited above in note 2. 

4. In the earliest publications the two heads are described as hav- 
ing been found together; see Royal Academy of Arts 1931, 

p. 18, no. 19. The earliest provenience claimed was Hamadan: 
Illustrated London News, January 10, 1931, p. 35, "found 
near Hamadan"; A. U. Pope said the head was found near 
Hamadan (1931, p. 31 and illustration p. 87, where the cap- 
tion reads "northwest Persia''). Other proveniences subse- 
quently suggested are cited in Muscarella, 1988, p. 368. 

5. Schlossmann, 1981-82, pp. 155-56. 

Mesopotamia?! Monuments Found at Susa | 177 

114 Statue of a standing ruler 

Green alabaster 

H. 8V 4 in. (21 cm); w. 4 in. (10.3 cm) 
Early 2nd millennium B.C. 
Sb 8s 

This finely executed small sculpture, presumably of 
a ruler or high official, is made of a greenish alabas- 
ter, a colorful stone used for other exceptionally fine 
works of art made in Mesopotamia in the Early Dy- 
nastic (ca. 2900-2334 B.C.) and Akkadian (2334-ca. 
2200 B.C.) periods. 1 The statue is now missing the 
head and feet, but the high level of craftsmanship is 
evident in the sensitive execution of the drapery and 
rich jewelry As there is no inscription, the identity 
of the figure and the city in which it was made re- 
main unknown. One suggestion is that the image is 
a representation of a Susian prince that was carved 
by a craftsman residing at Susa during a period of 
strong Mesopotamian influence (2000-1900 B.C.). 2 
This theory gains some support from the fact that 
there is no royal inscription on the statue identifying 
it as booty from Mesopotamia. 

The figure wears two necklaces, one of them with 
three beads — a large, central elliptical bead framed 
by two smaller circular ones — strung on fine 
threads. Two bracelets are worn on the figure's left 
wrist, one a plain circlet and the other embellished 
with three beads. The right wrist is broken away. No 
traces of a beard remain, but it is possible that the 
figure had a short, trimmed beard closely following 
the chin line, a style that had some popularity dur- 
ing this period. 3 

The pure Mesopotamian style of this work is ev- 
ident from a comparison with a black stone sculp- 
ture of similar size and appearance found by the 
nineteenth-century archaeologist Hormuzd Rassam 
at Sippar, a site in central Mesopotamia, and now in 
the British Museum. 4 Other Mesopotamian sculp- 
tures found at Susa, notably the group of ruler 
images that were booty from Eshnunna, are also 
closely comparable in style and detail to the green 
alabaster figure. Wherever the sculpture was origi- 
nally executed, the artist must have been trained in 
a Mesopotamian workshop, as the image displays no 
distinctive Elamite features or details. 



1. Orthmann, 1975, pi. 2 (Early Dynastic statue found at 
Nippur); McKeon, 1970, p. 230 (Akkadian stele fragment, 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). 

2. Amiet, 1966, p. 290, fig. 216; Pezard and Pottier, 1926, 
no. 77: "Prince Susien." See also Spycket, 1981, p. 238. 

3. Orthmann, 1975, pi. 11. For a discussion of the chronological 
significance of the beard length, see Schlossman, 1981-82, 

p. 149. 

4. Accession no. 114699; Walker and Collon, 1980, p. 98; G.PE 
Van den Boorn, 'The Life and Times of a Leiden Torso," in 
L. de Meyer and E. Haerinck, eds., Archeologia Iranica et 
Orientalis: Miscellanea in honorem Louis Vanden Berghe, 
vol. 1 (Ghent, 1989), pis. 3b, 4, pp. 189-90. 

115 Kudurru of Melishihu 
Inscribed in Akkadian 

Black limestone; coated with wax early in this 

H. 25VS in. (65 cm); w. 11V4 in. (30 cm) 
Kassite period, early 12th century B.C. 
Acropole, trench ya; Sb 22 
Excavated by Morgan. 

116 Kudurru 

White limestone 

H. 21V4 in. (54 cm); w. l^Vs in. (36 cm) 
Kassite period, 12th century B.C. 
Sb2 5 

One distinctive type of official monument made in 
Babylonia between the fourteenth and seventh cen- 
turies B.C. and recovered in relatively large numbers 
at Susa is the boundary stone, or kudurru. Among 
the 110 examples catalogued by Ursula Seidl, over 
40, many in fragmentary condition, come from this 
site. 1 The stone steles and irregularly shaped monu- 
ments are usually carved from limestone, and appear 
from the Akkadian texts inscribed on them to be 
copies of legal documents concerning boundaries and 
the ownership of land. Since the kudurrus show lit- 
tle sign of weathering, it is generally assumed that 
they were erected in temples and were not set up as 
actual boundary markers. 

On many of the kudurrus found at Susa the in- 
scriptions are effaced or otherwise damaged, but the 
two examples in this exhibition (one of which is un- 
finished) are in almost perfect condition. The black 
limestone example (No. 115) bears a lengthy in- 
scription of the Kassite king Melishihu (1186-1172 
B.C.), which records a gift of land by Melishihu to 
his son Marduk-apla-iddina I. 2 

The history of relations between Kassite Baby- 
lonia and Elam from the fourteenth to the twelfth 
century B.C. is obscure, although the two kingdoms 
were politically and culturally interconnected. 3 Lit- 
erary and judicial texts document troubled relations 
and alternating periods of conquest and control, but 
there were also times of independence and relative 
harmony in which marriages between the royal 
families were arranged. One of these periods was 
during the reign of Melishihu, whose eldest daugh- 
ter, it has recently been suggested, married the 
Elamite ruler Shutruk-Nahhunte (1190-1155 b.c.).* 

Both of the kudurrus in this exhibition were 


180 | The Mesopotamian Presence 

probably made during the reign of Melishihu, and 
the close diplomatic and political ties between the 
two realms at this time may have created a political 
environment favorable to the preservation of the 
monuments at Susa. An alternate hypothesis is 
that these kudurrus are part of the Mesopotamian 
booty taken to Susa from Babylonia by Shutruk- 
Nahhunte during one of his forays into Meso- 
potamia. ^ The kudurru inscribed with the name of 
Melishihu (No. 115) was uncovered in the same area 
(Morgan trench 7a; see fig. 41, p. 124) on the Acro- 
pole mound as other Mesopotamian booty monuments 
taken from Sippar, a site at which similar Kassite 
kudurrus, now in the British Museum, were found. 6 

The flattened surface of this black limestone stele 
is divided into five registers on which symbols and 
attributes of various Babylonian divinities appear 
that are, for the most part, familiar representations 
in the art of Babylonia. The majority of the images 
are animals and supernatural creatures. The only 
human represented is a bust surmounting a temple 
facade, which in turn rests on a dog. This imagery 
has led to the identification of the figure as the god- 
dess Gula, whose attribute was a dog. In Seidl's 
comprehensive survey of Babylonian kudurru reliefs 
the stele of Melishihu falls into the third of ten 
groups, in which the canons for the images, form, 
and design were first set. 7 

Quite different and more unusual in appearance, 
but also attributed by Seidl on the basis of style and 
iconography to Melishihu, is a second, white lime- 
stone boundary stone (No. 116) found at Susa. 8 On 
this example the figural representations and the lined 
spaces prepared for the text encircle the stone. Some 
features, notably the row of divine symbols at the 
summit and the presence of a coiled snake and a 
horned serpent, are comparable to the images ap- 

116, detail 

pearing on many Kassite kudurrus. Other elements, 
however, are more unusual : the crenellated fortifica- 
tion wall that surrounds the squarish stone? and the 
extraordinary procession of one female and seven 
male divinities playing musical instruments and ac- 
companied by a variety of animals. The fortified 
city walls rest on a horned snake, symbolism that 
led Anton Moortgat to interpret the scene as a super- 
natural or mythical image rather than a representa- 
tion of a historical city. 10 Another snake encircles 
the top of the monument and holds in its coils a fig- 
ure of a quadruped, now damaged. 

Processions of figures are common in Kassite art 
in various media, but the cult scene on this kudurru 
is particularly elaborate and is unique. 11 Seidl offers 
an interpretation of the male divinities as the tu- 
telary gods of the animal world and compares some 
of the images to representations on a seal in the 
Louvre inscribed with the name of the Kassite king 
Kurigalzu. 12 

No detailed information exists concerning the 
precise location at which this kudurru was discov- 
ered. The absence of an inscription on the carefully 
prepared and partially lined surface raises questions 
concerning the place of manufacture, the purpose of 
the monument, and the explanation for its presence 
in this unfinished state at Susa. 


1. Seidl, 1989. 

2. Sb 22: Pezard and Pottier, 1926, p. 51, no. 21; Morgan, 
1900c, pp. i72ff : . / pi. 16; MDP 2 (1900), pp. 99ft., pis. 
21-24; Seidl, 1989, p. 29, no. 32, Taf. 15a. Sb 25: Pezard 
and Pottier, 1926, p. 52, no. 24; Morgan, 1903d, pp. 146ft., 
pis. 27, 28; Seidl, 1989, pp. 30-31, no. 40, Taf. 18a. 

3. Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 32-44 (with references to liter- 
ature); Amiet, 1986b, pp. 1-5; Marcus, 1991, pp. 537-60. 

4. Steve and Vallat, 1989, pp. 223-38. 

5. Both alternatives were proposed in the early excavation re- 
ports: Morgan, 1903d, pp. i38ff. None of the kudurrus 
found at Susa have Elamite inscriptions on them, with one 
possible exception: Seidl, 1989, no. 41. 

6. Walker and Collon, 1980, p. 101. 

7. Seidl, 1989, pp. 80-81. 

8. Seidl, 1989, pp. 30-31, 80-81. 

9. Another example of the fortification wall design appears on a 
kudurru of unknown provenience in the British Museum 
(90829) inscribed with the name of Melishihu; Seidl 1989, 
p. 24, no. 12. For the suggestion that this stone comes from 
Sippar, see Walker and Collon, 1980, p. 101. 

10. A. Moortgat, Bildwerk und Volkstum Vorderasiens zur 
Hethiterzeit (Leipzig, 1934), p. 14; cited by Seidl, 1989, 
p. 108. 

11. Marcus, 1991, pp. ^}j-6o. 

12. Seidl, 1989, p. 207: reference to Delaporte, 1920, pi. 51, 
05 6. 

ny Stele with an Elamite ruler approaching 


H. 24V4 in. (63 cm); w. iy 3 / 4 in. (45 cm) 

Kassite period, 12th century B.C., and Neo-Elamite 

period, 8th century B.C. 

Sb 9 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Only the arched upper portion remains of this up- 
right monument, or stele. 1 In the scene represented, 
a male supplicant approaches an enthroned god. Be- 


tween the figures is a fragmentary incense burner, 
and above the heads a circular disk enclosing an 
eight-pointed star. Comparable scenes appear on 
other steles found at Susa, notably the diorite Code 
of Laws of Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 B.C.) 
and an earlier, fragmentary white limestone stele 
also made in Mesopotamia (No. 110). 

A later recutting of this relief has distorted the 
arched form and resulted in an awkward, crowded 
composition. Since the stone is irregular in shape 
and narrows toward the back surface, the width of 
the front surface was diminished when the stone was 
cut back on the left side and a new figure was carved 

182 The Mesopotamian Presence 

in place of the original worshiper. Careful examina- 
tion of the front surface and an analysis of details in 
the design indicate that the figure of the enthroned 
god is probably a Babylonian work of the twelfth 
century B.C., while the approaching figure is an 
alteration made to the design at Susa during the 
eighth century B.C. 2 

Since there is no inscription preserved, the func- 
tion of the stele is uncertain, but the figural design 
resembles that on the summit of the Code of Ham- 
murabi (fig. 44, p. 160) and may be an indication 
that this relief, too, originally surmounted a code of 


1. Pezard and Pottier, 1926, p. 42, no. 9; Morgan, i905d, pi. 99; 
Amiet, 1966, p. 410, fig. 310; Borker-Klahn, 1982, no. 114, 
pp. 168-69, pl- 1:t 4; Barrelet, 1974, F. 135, p. 113. 

2. Seidl, 1965, pp. 175-86 (stele A is Sb 9). For an earlier dating 
for the recarving of the stele, see p. 122 n. 4. 

Terracotta Figurines 

ihe terracotta figurines are among the most original 
of Susa's artistic productions. In successive phases over 
a period of about three millennia, the inhabitants of 
the Susiana plain fashioned the clay they found beneath 
their feet into animal and human forms, first by hand 
and later using molds. Produced outside the realm of 
official commissions, these small figures were intended 
for private individuals and their inspiration remained 
essentially popular. Although some of the cast exam- 
ples were made by skilled craftsmen and are of very 
high quality, objects of this type are chiefly of interest 
for what they reveal about the Susians' daily pre- 
occupations and the evolution of their mode of thought. 

It should first be noted that the great majority of 
Susian figurines demonstrate a complete independence 
from Mesopotamian production, except in times when 
Susa was under Akkadian or Babylonian rule. During 
the Akkadian period, under the Third Dynasty of Ur, 
and at the beginning of the second millennium, origi- 
nal works are found alongside examples of western 
types, reflecting the exchanges between Assyria, Bab- 
ylonia, and Elam. 

Hundreds of these figurines have been discovered 
at Susa over a period of more than a century, in archae- 
ological excavations that began with Marcel and Jane 
Dieulafoy in 1884-86 and resumed under Jacques de 
Morgan and Roland de Mecquenem in the years be- 
tween 1897 an ^ *94 6 * Yet the figurines attracted little 

attention from archaeologists and were difficult to 
classify because the circumstances of their excavation 
were not carefully recorded and, even more, because of 
their originality in comparison with the more easily 
dated Mesopotamian objects. It has been possible, 
however, on the basis of stratigraphic excavations con- 
ducted by Roman Ghirshman between 1955 and 1967, 
to propose a classification for the collections at the 
Louvre and at the Iran Bastan Museum in Teheran. 1 

Throughout the ancient Near East, and particu- 
larly in the mountains of Kurdistan beginning in the 
seventh millennium B.C. (as at Jarmo and Tepe Sarab), 
objects were fashioned of dried unbaked clay: faceless 
anthropomorphic silhouettes and, especially, animals. 2 
Animal representations still predominated at the time 
of the founding of Susa in the beginning of the fourth 
millennium B.C. (Susa I); they were of refined clay, 
fired and painted. The animals most frequently rep- 
resented are various types of horned beasts (e.g., 
No. 15) and birds (e.g., No. 16), whose bodies are 
speckled with brown spots. There are also some hu- 
man figures with column-shaped bodies, pinched-nose 
faces, and neither eyes nor mouths. 

Curiously, after the Susa I period, production of 
the figurines stopped for several centuries in both 
Mesopotamia and Iran. Only a few examples can be 
assigned to the long Early Dynastic period in the first 
three-quarters of the third millennium B.C. The great 


184 I Popular Art at Susa 

outpouring of figurines representing humans began in 
the Akkadian period (2334-2154 B.C.), and from the 
start, nude female figures were very much in the 
majority. The application of clay parts was a charac- 
teristic technique; features such as eyes, hair, necklace, 
and breasts were attached to a rather crudely modeled 
body, and additional details were incised. The pinched- 
nose head, when it lacks a mouth, resembles a bird 
head (No. 118), and the arms might be outstretched or 
might be pinions (No. 119). 

The single- face mold appeared at the end of the 
third millennium B.C. and was so successful that from 
then on the technique virtually supplanted hand mod- 
eling. Initially the molds were shallow (No. 121) and 
reproduced hand-modeled types. 3 The clay was cut 
away around the contour of the figurine, and the back 
was still hand modeled to give the impression of sculp- 
ture in the round (No. 120). But quite quickly the back 
was flattened and the clay left around the silhouette: 
thus was born the figurine-plaque (No. 136), which 
from the beginning of the second millennium became 

During the era of the sovereigns who adopted the 
title sukkalmah, a large number of nude female figu- 
rines were produced. These are invariably depicted 
with hands joined, wearing a necklace and bracelets, 
and sometimes with a crossed band passing between 
the breasts (Nos. 131, 132). The male figurines, 
bearded or not, wear long mantles and ovoid tiaras and 
are shown playing a musical instrument (Nos. 123, 
124) or carrying a monkey (No. 125). There are also 
figures of a worshiper carrying a young he-goat (No. 
126). Beginning in this period, figurines were often 
coated with a glaze or slip, generally light in color. 

With the Middle Elamite period, which occupied 
the second half of the second millennium, there came a 
change in the representations. Although the slender 
female nude with hands clasped (No. 129) disappeared 
only gradually, a new design that assumed enormous 
importance supplanted it. In this type, the female 
supports each of her breasts between a raised thumb 
and four joined fingers (No. 131); in addition to the 
pendant necklace she wears a kind of double band that 
crosses through a slip ring between the breasts, and 
anklets as well as bracelets (No. 133). The body became 
more and more fleshy, the shoulders and hips swelling 
to the point of deformity, while at the same time the 
figurine itself grew increasingly flat (No. 132). The 

braided headdresses placed over the hair are identical 
to those on the funerary heads of polychrome baked 
clay found in collective burial vaults (No. 84). 

Alongside this vast quantity of nude female fig- 
ures are several types representing elegantly dressed 
women, some holding a naked baby in their arms 
(No. 134). 

Compared to representations of women, those of 
men were, in the Middle Elamite period, a distinct 
minority The most common male type is a more or 
less mythical representation of a small nude individ- 
ual, bearded or beardless, with bowed legs, who plays 
a long-necked lute. He sometimes carries a small hu- 
man figure on his right shoulder (No. 136). 

In Mesopotamia as well, but most often in Susa, 
small four-legged beds of terracotta have been found. 
On some of these, a naked couple lies (No. 135) ; others 
are unoccupied. 

The technique of hand modeling can be seen on 
some small painted heads (No. 137); these have hollow 
necks pierced with holes that allowed them to be fas- 
tened to a body. Although found in tombs, they can be 
distinguished from the clay funerary heads (No. 84) 
by their diminutive size. 

With the exception of striding animal figures occa- 
sionally represented on cast plaques, animal figurines 
were always modeled by hand. One of the most popu- 
lar animal figures in the second half of the second 
millennium B.C. was the bull, depicted with a stylized 
hump, a cylindrical body and conical legs (No. 138). 
The holes in the muzzle represent eyes and at the same 
time permit the passage of a strap; apparently these 
animals could be harnessed to small chariots. Animals 
on wheels also existed,^ like the mouflon with a mas- 
sive body and tiny head (No. 139), and are thought by 
some archaeologists to have been toys. 

agnes spycket 


1. Spycket, 1992. 

2. For Jarmo: R. J. Braidwood and B. Howe, "Prehistoric Investi- 
gations in Iraqi Kurdistan/' Studies in Ancient Oriental Civi- 
lizations 31 (Chicago, 1960), pi. 16, 1-6. For Tepe Sarab: Ch. 
Zervos, Naissance de la civilisation en Grece (Paris, 1962-63), 
vol. 1, pp. 48-49, figs. 18, 20-23. 

3. Spycket, 1986, pp. 79-82. 

4. Amiet, 1966, pp. 391, 4321. 

Terracotta Figurines \ 185 

118 Nude female 

Pinkish buff terracotta, hand modeled 
H. 4V2 in. (11.5 cm) 
Akkadian period (2334-2154 B.C.) 
Sb 7103 

Excavated by Morgan, 1907. 

The head of this standing female figure was pinched 
to form the nose. The eyes are two pellets, and there 
is no mouth. The headband over the forehead, made 
of a strip of clay, meets the large X-shaped chignon 
added on in back. The necklace is represented by a 
curved incised line and six holes on the neck. The 
breasts are cone-shaped attachments. The arms were 
shaped from two rolls of clay stretched in a curve; 
the right one covers the pubis, the left one hides the 
left breast. Four notches roughly indicate the fingers. 
A groove separates the legs in front and behind, and 
the buttocks protrude. There are no feet. 



119 Nude female 

Light buff terracotta, hand modeled 
H. 3V8 in. (8.7 cm) 

Third Dynasty of Ur t 2112-2004 B - c - 
Sb 7130 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1934. 

The arms of this standing female are rendered as 
pointed pinions extending horizontally. The features 
were modeled separately and applied to her pinched- 
nose head: eyes, thick lips, a headband on the fore- 
head, and two large vertical strips with horizontal 
incisions framing the face. A folded band forms the 
chignon. The applied necklace is only on the front of 
the neck. The breasts were also applied separately; 
the left one has disappeared. The pubic triangle is 
incised and scored with fingernail scratches, as are 
the navel and the two lumbar dimples. The legs are 
separated by two deep grooves in front and behind. 
The feet are not rendered. 



i86 Popular Art at Susa 

120, 121 

120 Nude female 

Buff terracotta, mold cast 

H. 4% in. (10.9 cm) 

Third Dynasty of Ur t 2112-2004 B - c - 

Sb j 209 

Flat pinions curving forward constitute the arms of 
this female figurine. The face is heart-shaped; the 
eyes, in relief, are elongated and slit; on the ears are 
fluted earrings. A folded band high on the nape rep- 
resents a chignon but can also serve as a head sup- 
port when the figurine is laid horizontally. One 
necklace encircles the neck, the other falls onto the 
chest. There is a double ring in relief beneath the 
breasts, and the navel is hollowed out. Three parallel 
grooves are placed above the pubic triangle, which 
is higher than it is wide and is scored with short ver- 
tical incisions. Horizontal incisions mark the sides 
of the legs. The feet are without detail. Except for 
the chignon, the back of the figurine is a simple 
rounded form. 

This kind of nude female figure with bust clearly 
outlined is one of the oldest types cast from a mold. 
The figurine shown here might have been cast from 
the mold catalogued below, Number 121. 



121 Mold for figurine of a nude female 

Buff terracotta 

H. 4 5 /s in. (11.9 cm); w. i 3 / 4 in. (4.5 cm); d. iVs in. 
(3 cm ) 

Third Dynasty of Ur r 2112-2004 B.C. 
Sh 7410 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1932. 

The shallow mold is hollowed out of a tubular piece 
of clay that is rounded in back and along the edges. 
The cross shape of the mold's cavity corresponds to 
that of the figurine of a nude woman with pinion- 
arms (No. 120). 

122 Musician with a lute 

Pink terracotta, mold cast; light buff slip 
H. 2V4 in. (7.1 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Sb 7814 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1937. 

Only the head and torso remain of this figure of a 
bearded lute player, which is broken at the waist. 
The ovoid tiara is decorated with a web of narrow 
crisscrossing bands. The musician's eyebrows are 

Terracotta Figurines \ 187 

delicately striated. The beard covers his cheeks and 
falls onto his chest in wavy locks. The garment is 
imprinted with small circles. 


123 Musician with a lute 

Buff terracotta, mold cast 
H. 3 5 /s in. (9.2 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Sb 7805 

The beardless face of this small figure is delicately 
sculpted. The lute player is dressed in an ovoid tiara 
and a long, plain, flaring mantle that covers his feet 
and is held at the hips by a wide belt. He wears a 
necklace with a pendant in the shape of a crescent, 
the tips pointing downward. He holds the elongated 
body of the instrument in the crook of his right el- 
bow and grasps the tip of its short neck in his left 

hand. The neck of the lute is grooved with perpen- 
dicular frets. 1 


1. See Spycket, 1972, p. 192, fig. 40b and description of 40a 

124 Musician with a "harp" 

Buff terracotta, mold cast 
H. qVs in. (10.4 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Sb 6574 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1933. 

The musician wears a plain long mantle with a 
triple-strand belt at the loins and an ovoid tiara. His 
beard is very short. A round, exceptionally large 
pendant hangs from his necklace. At his chest he 
holds an instrument not easily identified: an elon- 

123, 124, 125 

188 | Popular Art at Susa 

gated body surmounted by a vertical post that ends 
in a hook turned inward. No strings can be seen un- 
der the left hand and forearm. Visible under the 
right hand, at the juncture of the body and the post, 
is an oblique patch marked with several grooves. Be- 
neath the body of the instrument is something re- 
sembling a cushion or inflated pouch, which led 
Francis Galpin to identify the object as a wind in- 
strument and dub it a " 'crooked' pipe/' 1 


i. Galpin, 1937, pp. 19, 90 n. 9. See also Amiet, 1966, fig. 227; 
Spycket, 1972, p. 187, fig. 36; Mecquenem, 1934, p. 233, 
fig. 84, 2. 

125 Man with a monkey 

Light buff terracotta, mold cast 
H. 4/* in. (10.6 cm ) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Donjon; Sh 7834 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1932. 

This standing male figure wears an ovoid tiara and a 
long closed garment that covers his feet. A long 
mustache falls over the short beard on his cheeks. 
Suspended from a rectangular band on a rigid neck- 
lace is a thin crescent with tips pointed down, simi- 
lar to the one worn by the lute player (No. 123). 
Under his bent right arm he holds the middle of a 
vertical rod that is curved into a hook at the top; on 
his right wrist is a bracelet. His left arm is entirely 
concealed by the garment. At his shoulder, seeming 
to emerge from a pocket with a spiked border, is the 
head of a monkey with round eyes. 1 


1. See Amiet, 1978, no. 107 bis; and cf. Mecquenem, 1934, 
p. 233, fig. 84, 4. 

126 Man carrying a young he-goat 

Green-gray terracotta 
n. 4V4 in. (12 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium p. Q. 
Sb 6$j2 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 2934. 

The standing figure wears a plain long robe edged 
with a double band at the hem. His shoulders and 
arms are covered by a fringed shawl that falls sym- 
metrically in curves to the bottom of the garment. 
His fleecy cap, which comes down to his eyebrows, 
resembles the fur cap worn by the bronze and gold 
worshiper of Larsa dedicated to Hammurabi of 
Babylon. 1 The elongated eyes, in relief, are framed 
by raised rims, and the nose is flat. A long beard 
rendered in a chevron pattern covers the cheeks and 
falls onto the chest; on either side of it a beaded 
necklace is visible. He holds a young goat against his 
body with both hands. The goat, which faces out- 
ward, has a stylized fleece represented by rows of 
small squares. Its back feet hang beneath the man's 
left hand and its front feet rest on his right wrist. In 
his right hand the figure holds a shepherd's staff. 2 


1. Parrot, 1960, fig. 350. 

2. Amiet, 1966, fig. 230; Amiet, 1977/ fig. 420. 


Terracotta Figurines | 189 

127, 128 
127 Nude female 

Pink terracotta, mold cast; brown slip 
h. 5V4 in. (13.2 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Sb 7259 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1933. 

This figure's face, with its prominent nose, looks to 
us like a caricature. The head is oversized in com- 
parison with the body; a striated cap descends to the 
eyebrows. The oblique, elongated eyes have a raised 
outline. A thick necklace adorns the throat. The 
woman's breasts, close together, are tightly framed 
by her arms; the nipples are indicated. The clasped 
hands are incised with large oblique lines, and brace- 
lets encircle the wrists. The feet are formless. 
The Musee du Louvre has one mold that corre- 

sponds to this figurine (No. 128) and about forty 
similar figures, somewhat crudely made, that were 
found near a potter's kiln by Mecquenem in 1933. 


128 Mold for figurine of a nude female 

Pinkish buff terracotta 

H. 5 3 /s in. (13.8 cm); w. 2 7 A in. (7.3 cm); D. 1V2 in. 
(3.8 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Sb 7402 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1933. 

This mold produced figurines of the type of Number 
127, above. 


190 I Popular Art at Susa 

Terracotta Figurines \ 191 

129 Nude female 

Light buff terracotta, mold cast 
H. 4 5 /s in. (11.9 cm) 

Sukkalmah period, first half of the 2nd millennium 


Sb 7386 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1930. 

The slim-hipped female stands with her hands 
clasped across her abdomen. Set low over her fore- 
head is a braided turban with vertical fluting in front 
and a chevron pattern at the temples. The nose is 
short and pointed between large, heavily outlined 
eyes; the mouth is very small, and a dimple creases 
the chin. A double necklace of round beads encircles 
the woman's neck, while a third strand falls in an 
oval, a large horizontal bead at its center. On her 
wrists are three bracelets. She has sloping shoulders 
and small breasts. Her narrow pelvis is ringed by 
three horizontal grooves, the center one broken by 
the circular cavity of the navel. Three rows of shal- 
low incisions describe the low pubic triangle. The 
thighs are narrow and convex; the knees are marked 
by three semi-circular grooves, and the toes are in- 
dicated. The back is flat. 

The overall form is clearly delineated except 
where narrow flanges reinforce the figure at neck 
level, under the elbows, and along the legs. This 
type of figurine was extremely common at Susa in 
the first half of the second millennium. 


the wrists are three rigid bracelets. The hips are 
slender and the long legs are narrowed at the knees. 
An edging of clay has been left all along the body. 


131 Nude female supporting her breasts 

Pink terracotta, mold cast; light buff slip 
H. 6 7 /s in. (17.6 cm ) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 7742 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1928. 

The tall, slender woman holds each breast between 
an upright thumb and four fingers below. Over 
wavy hair, visible on her forehead, she wears a 
braided diadem that juts forward in the center. Her 
face is long, the eyes heavily outlined and a dimple 
showing in the middle of the chin. She wears a 
two-strand necklace at the base of her neck, a band 
crossing her chest with a herringbone pattern, two 
bracelets on each arm, and anklets. Because the bot- 
toms of the feet curve toward the heels, the figure 
cannot stand. The contours of the body are well de- 
lineated and the back is completely flat. 


130 Nude female with clasped hands 

Terracotta, mold cast; light buff slip 
H. 5^ in. (13.7 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 7637 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1928. 

The woman, thin and well-proportioned, stands on a 
small pedestal. A braided diadem with a projection 
in the center covers her hair, which is just visible as 
two wavy lines low on the forehead. A three-strand 
beaded necklace tightly rings her neck, and two wide 
bands rest on her chest. A band with a herringbone 
pattern descends obliquely from her right shoulder 
and passes between her breasts. The hands rest one 
in the other with the thumbs crossed above. Around 

Terracotta Figurines | 

132 Nude female supporting her breasts 

Buff terracotta, mold cast 
H. 6V2 in. (16.5 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb yyvy 

This woman is deformed by exaggeratedly wide 
arms and hips. Only her head, with a braided tiara, 
appears normal. A rosette-shaped pendant hangs 
from the two strands around her neck. Three brace- 
lets adorn either arm, and rings encircle the ankles. 
Crossed bands in a herringbone pattern pass through 
a sliding ring between her breasts; her nipples are 
ringed. The deformed thighs extend far beyond the 
knees, which are rendered as rimmed ovals. The 
back is completely flat except for the curvature of the 
head and feet. 1 


1. Roland de Mecquenem, "Les derniers resultats des fouilles de 
Suse," Revue des arts asiatiques 6 (1929-30), pi. 13d; Pope, 
1938, vol. 4, pi. 74 D; Porada, 1963, fig. 33, p. 49 (drawing); 
Amiet, 1978, no. 131. 

133 Nude female supporting her breasts 

Greenish terracotta, mold cast 
H. y/s in. (14.3 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 7763 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1932. 

This figure has plump contours and wears the char- 
acteristic braided tiara, edged with a stippled band 
over the forehead, and shoulder straps that cross 
through a slip ring between the breasts. Hanging 
from a necklace at the base of her neck is a pendant 
in the form of a rosette with eight petals; horizon- 
tally striped earrings, three bracelets on each wrist, 
and anklets complete her attire. Her eyes are wide 
open and are delicately outlined. The pelvis shows a 
long slit above the navel and the pubic triangle is 
stylized with several rows of small curls. The knees 
are indicated by rimmed ovals. 



194 I Popular Art at Susa 

134 Clothed mother with child 

Light buff terracotta, mold cast 
h. 4 in. (10.2 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 7722 

The woman is dressed in a plain straight garment 
that falls to her feet, leaving only the toes visible. 
Her delicate face is surmounted by wavy hair and a 
turban consisting of four superimposed bands. The 
neckline is square, and triangular epaulettes are at- 
tached in front of the shoulders with pins (visible 
only on the left). She holds a naked baby in her 
arms. The child's legs are spread apart and its left 
hand, wearing a bracelet, reaches up to the mother's 
breast. This type of figure has also been found at 
Chogha Zanbil. 


135 Woman and man on a bed 

Buff terracotta; bed: hand modeled; figures: 
mold cast 

L. 4 3 A in. (11.2 cm); w. 2V4 in. (5.8 cm); H. i 3 /s in. 
(3-5 c *n) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 7979 

Excavated by Morgan, 1907. 

A naked couple lie on a bed, the woman on the left. 
They embrace each other around the neck and waist. 
The woman's long hair descends to her shoulders; 
the man's wavy hair projects over his forehead. The 
bed has four legs, and the mattress seems to be 
made of interwoven bands. 



Terracotta Figurines | 195 

136 Plaque of a nude lute player with 


Yellowish buff terracotta, mold cast 
H. y/s in. (9.8 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb j8j6 

There are many representations of a nude, bow- 
legged lute player, but this one has the peculiarity of 
carrying on his right shoulder a small figure, proba- 
bly a child, whose arms encircle his head. On the 
basis of other less distinct examples it had been as- 
sumed that the small figure was a monkey The man 
is bearded. He plays an instrument with a small 
body and a long neck, which he holds at the tip. This 
musician differs from the clothed lute players of the 
Sukkalmah period who play instruments with elon- 
gated bodies and short necks. 1 


1. M. Rutten, "Scenes de musique et de danse/' Revue des arts 
asiatiques 9 (1935), p. 222, fig. 15 (drawing); Opificius, 1961, 
no. 718, p. 194; Amiet, 1978, no. 108. 

037 Male head 

Pinkish buff terracotta, hand modeled; originally 

H. 4/4 in. (10. j cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 

millennium B.C. 

Donjon; Sb 2816 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1933. 

On the beardless head is a conical headdress. The 
hollow neck is pierced with three holes so that it can 
be attached to a body. Beneath the protruding ridge 
of the brow are bulging eyes, with flanged rims that 
serve as eyelids. The corners of the wide mouth are 
raised. At the time of its discovery in 1933 the head 
bore traces of slip, which have since disappeared. 1 


1. Rutten, 1935-36, vol. 1, p. 281 a-b; Amiet, 1966, fig. 337; 
Spycket, 1981, p. 316 n. 109. 

196 I Popular Art at Susa 

138 Humped bull 

Gray-buff terracotta, hand modeled 
H. 4 in. (10.} cm); l. 4 3 A in. (11.2 cm) 
Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 19323 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1931. 


138, 139 

Animal on wheels 

Pink terracotta, mold cast 

H. of animal y/s in. (8 cm); l. 5% in. (13 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, second half of the 2nd 

millennium B.C. 

Sb 19324 

Excavated by Morgan. 

The massive horns of this humped bovine, modeled 
in a single unit, are pointed forward. The muzzle is 
pierced through from one side to the other. The 
hump is an extension of the head, and the cylindri- 
cal body rests on legs shaped like truncated cones. 
The tail is short and thick. 


The animal, a mouflon with a hollow, cylindrical 
body and a tiny head, is mounted on four wheels. 
Each horn curves in an almost complete circle 
around a protuberance representing an eye. The 
dewlap in front was formed by pinching the clay. 
There is a vent hole on the animal's back and another 
where the tail should be. The wheel axles pass 
through holes pierced in the flanges under the front 
and rear of the body 


5usa rapidly fell from prominence at the end of the 
second millennium and continued to decline until about 700 B.C. The wars of the Babylonian king 
Nebuchadnezzar I (1125-1104 B.C.) against Susiana were only partly responsible for this reversal; 
there were also famines around the turn of the millennium that seriously affected both Mesopotamia 
and Susa. But it was probably the political unrest, as much as ecological disaster, that led formerly 
settled groups to take up a nomadic existence, retreating to the upland valleys of eastern Khuzistan. 1 
Blocked by the Assyrian empire to the northwest, the Elamites were unable to maintain control of 
the foothill road leading toward Mesopotamia. The Median kingdoms held the uplands to the north 
and northeast. By about 1000 B.C. the Susian kings had also lost their foothold in Anshan, and new 
ethnic groups may have pushed the Elamites of Fars westward into the valleys of eastern Khuzistan. 

Late in the eighth century B.C., both archaeological and historical records document Susa's 
renewal as part of the resurgence of Elamite power. 2 Allied with Babylonians and highland Elamites, 
the Susians challenged the powerful armies of Assyria repeatedly for almost a century At Susa, a 
small temple of Inshushinak decorated with panels of glazed brick and glazed architectural orna- 
ments crowned the Acropole mound. Large burial vaults dated to this period in which were found 
golden jewelry, richly decorated objects, and containers made of glazed frit are a sign of local 
prosperity. Susa continued to be a ceremonial and cultural center, but the towns of Madaktu and 
Hidalu, mentioned in texts, appear to have been the major centers of political and military activity. 3 


1. Miroschedji, 1990, pp. 47-95. Both mobile pastoralism and agriculture were effective survival strategies in these regions. 

2. The archaeological finds are summarized in Amiet, 1966; for historical sources, see Stolper, 1984, pp. 44-56. 

3. Neither of these cities has been located, but Pierre de Miroschedji has suggested that Tepe Patak, forty miles northwest of Susa in the Deh 
Luran plain, should be identified as Madaktu; Hidalu probably lies in the Ram Hormuz, ninety miles from Susa, or in the adjacent 
Behbehan region of southeastern Khuzistan. See Carter, forthcoming. 


198 I The Neo-Elamite Period 


140 Stele of Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak 

Inscribed in Elamite 

Reconstructed H. 36V4 in. (93.5 cm); w. 2f/s in. 
(65.6 cm) 

Neo-Elamite period, ca. 650 B.C. 
Sb 16 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Preserved are six separated fragments of a stele that 
has been plausibly restored to furnish important in- 
formation. 1 It bears an inscription of a king who 

ruled over Anshan and Susa in the troubled, and still 
poorly understood, times during and after the major 
defeat of Elam by Ashurbanipal in the 650s and 
640s B.C. (see No. 189). 

The seated king faces right. He has wide shoul- 
ders but a narrow waist, held by a rosette-decorated 
belt. His garment is ankle-length and decorated with 
fringes, concentric circles in squares, and what may 
be crudely rendered rosettes. In his small right 
hand is a staff (the head is missing), and on his 
wrist is a bracelet in the form of two frontal feline 
heads. 2 The king is distinguished by his long, 
straight beard — it almost touches his waist — and a 
headdress that has a pointed projection, a bulbous 
back3 that may hold his hair, and a rosette-decorated 
band. One fragment preserves a feline foot of the 


Sculpture | 199 

king's throne and most of his feet, in shoes that have 
bands and upturned tips. A cylindrical object to the 
left of the throne foot is probably an article of furni- 
ture. Another fragment preserves the right border of 
the stele and the back of the head and shoulders of a 
figure facing left, who wears a plain, round head- 
dress with hair exposed below and a garment deco- 
rated like the king's. There is a round object on the 
shoulder that may be a brooch; if it is, the figure is 
probably a female, for Queen Napir-Asu (No. 83) 
wears a brooch on her shoulder. 

A similar headdress projecting at the front is 
worn by broad-shouldered kings with long beards on 
Neo-Elamite rock reliefs. 4 The peculiar headdress, 
long beard, and broad shoulders are Neo-Elamite 
characteristics. The bracelet is neatly matched by 
penannular bracelets from Luristan in western Iran, 
to the north of Elam, that are decorated with frontal 
feline heads with large eyes.^ The occurrence of such 
a bracelet on this dated stele supplies a date for the 
Luristan examples. 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 431; idem, 1988b, p. 117, no. 73; Calmeyer, 
1976, p. 57, Abb. 2 (a drawing with details of the clothing 
decoration not precisely drawn; see n. 2 below). 

2. The drawing in Calmeyer, 1976 (see n. 1) incorrectly shows 
rosettes on the bracelet. 

3. The end is missing. It has been restored to approximate the 
type of headdress seen on some Neo-Elamite reliefs. 

4. Amiet, 1966, nos. 421, 428. 

5. Muscarella, 1988, pp. 170-71, no. 271. 


The two texts to the right of the bearded head at the 
top of this stele — one written left to right and an- 
other, bordering it, written top to bottom — identify 
the subject of the portrait as the king Adda-hamiti- 
Inshushinak, son of Hutran-tepti. He speaks in the 
first person in the fragmentary text below the 

Mesopotamian texts mention no such king, but 
one passage in the annals of the Assyrian king 
Ashurbanipal names a certain Attameti as one of the 
Elamite commanders dispatched to support the 
Babylonian rebellion in 652 B.C., and another pas- 
sage names Attametu as the father of Humban- 
haltash III, who had the misfortune to occupy the 
Elamite throne when Ashurbanipal 's armies made 
their ruinous sweeps through Khuzistan in the 
640s. 1 Attameti and Attametu are likely Assyrian 

renderings of the name Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak 
(just as Te-Umman is what Assyrian annals call the 
Elamite king called Tepti-Humban-Inshushinak in 
his own inscriptions). Thus it is possible, although 
not provable, that the man depicted on this stele is 
also the man referred to in these passages : a leader 
who participated in armed resistance to the As- 
syrians, came to power after Assyrian pressure pro- 
voked revolts in Elam, held Susa long enough to 
leave this extraordinary little monument there, and 
was succeeded within a few years by his son. 

In the fragmentary Elamite inscription on the 
lower part of the stele, Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak 
gives himself titles and epithets that must have been 
drawn from the inscriptions of Middle Elamite 
kings: "King of Anshan and Susa, enlarger of the 
realm, master[?] of Elam, sovereign[?] of Elam/' 
His assertion, in the text to the right of the figure, 
of his love for Susa and its people suggests that he 
himself did not originate there. In the main inscrip- 
tion he mentions his and a predecessor's activities at 
other places, notably at stations along the route from 
Susiana to the passes into Fars, and he invokes not 
only the god of Susa, Inshushinak, but also gods as- 
sociated with Elamite territories in eastern 
Khuzistan. Like other Elamite leaders who con- 
fronted and evaded the Assyrians, it seems, he had 
his political base on the mountain fringe of 
Khuzistan, along the road to Anshan, and took pos- 
session of Susa when circumstances allowed. There- 
fore his grand historical titles were not empty, but 
they do reflect a precarious political reality 2 


1. Maximilian Streck, Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen 
Konige bis zum Untergange Niniveh's, Vorderasiatische Bibli- 
othek, vol. 7 (Leipzig, 1916), pp. i28f. vii 10, i44f. viii 73, 
194! no. 7:12. 

2. See M.-J. Steve, "La fin de l'Elam: a propos d'une empreinte 
de sceau-cylindre," Studia Iranica 15 (1986), pp. 19k; Steve 
apud I Duchene, "La localisation de Huhnur," in MM-/S, 
pp. ; Miroschedji, 1990, pp. 77-79; idem, "La fin du 
royaume dAnsan et de Suse et la naissance de 1' Empire 
perse/' ZA 75 (1985), pp. 278L For editions and conjectural 
translations of the texts on the stele, see Maurice Pezard, "Re- 
constitution d'une stele de Adda-hamiti-In-Susnak," Baby- 
loniaca 8 (1924), pp. 1-26, and Konig, 1965, nos. 86-88. 

200 | The Neo-Elamite Period 

141 La fileuse (lady spinning) 

Bitumen compound 
H. 3 5 /s in. (9.3 cm); w. 5V8 m. (13 cm J 
Neo-Elamite period, ca. 8th- jth century B.C. 
Si? 2834 

Excavated by Morgan. 

The complete scene on this small bituminous com- 
pound relief is unfortunately lost, but what is pre- 
served is one of the finest works of Neo-Elamite art 
to survive from Susa. 1 A female figure sits in orien- 
tal fashion, with legs crossed beneath her solid, erect 
body. Her garment is plain except for its ornamented 
borders. She is spinning, for her right hand holds or 
turns a spindle, while her left hand holds the thread. 
The arms seem encumbered by six slightly penan- 
nular bracelets each, and the upper arms by armlets 
(or undergarment sleeves?). The composed face has a 
strong nose and chin, and full lips. The hair is 
tucked up and held by a ribbon, and strands sur- 

round the ear and fall loose on the forehead; this is 
the coiffure of a woman of significance. She is seated 
on a feline-footed stool, cushioned probably by a 
sheepskin that does not cover a projection at the 

Behind the spinner is an unbearded servant with 
lovely curled hair, dressed in a long, plain, belted 
garment; six nonpenannular bracelets adorn each 
arm. The figure is probably a female, as would be 
appropriate. 2 She carries with both hands a large 
rectangular fan, to cool the air and chase away flies. 
In front of the spinner is a feline-footed stand with a 
bowl-like top containing a fish with six round ob- 
jects on top of or behind it. Finally, in the lower 
right is what appears to be part of a garment. It has 
been interpreted as the garment of either a divinity 
or another seated figured However, if it were the lat- 
ter one would expect feet to be visible (a seated fig- 
ure would have to be facing the spinner), and the 
object actually touches the leg of the stand. 

It is difficult to interpret the preserved scene. 

Sculpture \ 201 

Some scholars have related it to the banquet scenes 
represented on small bronze nipple beakers that de- 
rive from western Iran (fragmentary examples have 
actually been excavated in Luristan), dated to the 
tenth or ninth century B.C.* In all features, however, 
the style of the beakers differs from that of the spin- 
ner plaque, and the only iconographical parallel is 
the presence of the fan bearer. But Edith Porada has 
recognized that a rectangular fan is carried by a ser- 
vant depicted on earlier, Middle Elamite seals,^ and 
there, significantly, it is held by both hands, whereas 
on the beakers it is held by one hand. Nor is there 
any iconographical indication that a banquet scene is 
represented on this plaque. Peter Calmeyer has sug- 
gested that we are viewing a religious event, with 
the spinner dedicating both the spindle and the fish 
to a deity. 6 But if that is so we must explain the ca- 
sual seated position of the spinner and the presence 
of the personal fan bearer. Barthel Hrouda also sees 
this as a nonprofane scene, one connected with a cult 
of the dead. 7 The spinner spins the thread of life, 
fate, and Hrouda compares this figure to a spinner 
represented on what may be a funerary relief from 
Marash. But the question remains: is a banquet 
scene, for either the living or the dead, represented? 
I do not think so. Lacking the full scene, we can 
only speculate about what activity we are 

Those scholars who perceive an alleged relation- 
ship to the bronze beakers date the plaque to the 
tenth or ninth century B.C.; Jacques de Morgan as- 
signed it to the eighth or seventh century B.C., a 
date that may not be far off. 8 


1. For bibliography, see Amiet, 1966, p. 540, no. 413, and below. 
Its locus is nowhere given. 

2. Morgan (1900c, p. 160) thought the servant was a eunuch, 
and because of the curly hair, a black. 

3. Ibid.; Porada, 1975, p. 386, no. 296a. The object does seem 
to be a garment, but it could also be a wing or a tail. 

4. Amiet, 1966, no. 413; idem, 1988b, p. 112, no. 69; Calmeyer, 
1973, p. 203; Porada, 1975, pp. 370, 386, no. 296a; Hrouda, 
1990, p. 112, pi. 26 :a. 

5. Porada, 1965, p. 67 and figs. 23-25. Amiet, 1966, no. 414 
(a banquet scene that Amiet compares to the spinner scene; 
see No. 149). 

6. Calmeyer, 1973, p. 203 n. 433. 

7. Hrouda, 1990, p. 112. 

8. Morgan, 1900c, p. 160 (Sargonid period). Calmeyer stresses 
a Babylonian background, which is not very evident to me. 


H. 5^/4 in. (14.5 cm); w. 6Vs in. (15.5 cm) 
Neo-Elamite period, 8th- jth century B.C. 
Sb 43 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Parts of all four sides of this plaque are preserved, 
enough to indicate that the scene represented is self- 
contained. A lotus pattern encloses the scene and a 
hole, surrounded by a rosette, pierces the plaque. 1 
Two powerful figures are shown facing left, each in a 
smiting position. The left figure wears a fringed vest 
and skirt or a one-piece garment, with a triangular 
pendant, and on his head what seems to be a horned 
tiara. His right hand is held straight down in a fist; 
his left wields a dagger. Behind him is a figure 
dressed in the same type of skirt, with a sword at 
his waist. He has raptor feet, and the mane of what 
was originally a lion's head remains. He wields a 
mace in his right hand and originally held a dagger 
in his left. 2 

Although manifestly of Elamite background — as 
evidenced by the style, the hair form of the figure 
on the left, and the off-center hilt of the sword 3 — 
this scene matches, in iconography and in all details 
of style, one commonly seen in Neo-Assyrian art. 
Here too a figure with a lion's head and raptor's feet 
strides behind a smiting figure; the figures have the 


202 | The Neo-Elamite Period 

same posture and wield the same weapons as do 
those on the Susa plaque. In both cases their gar- 
ments have a pendant (in the Neo-Assyrian scenes it 
is a separate unit below the skirt). 4 As Anthony 
Green has recognized, all the examples are apo- 
tropaic, created to ward off evil spirits and demons. 5 
The Susa plaque was nailed to a wall to protect the 
inhabitants of a home or other structure. 

The lotus border further emphasizes the As- 
syrian background of the plaque, which is surely to 
be dated to the late eighth or the seventh century 
B.C. The very same apotropaic scene continued into 
the early Achaemenid period, for it is represented in 
a large relief at Palace S at Pasargadae, built by 
Cyrus II. 6 Whether the Achaemenids received the 
concept from the Assyrians or the Elamites cannot 
be definitely determined, but one would tend to sup- 
port the view that monumental art was probably the 
model for the relief at Pasargadae, rather than minor 
works such as the Susa plaque. 7 


1. The hole and rosette were apparently made after the figures 
were carved. The nail would have been disguised as the center 
of the flower. 

2. Amiet, 1966, no. 407; A. Green, 1986, pp. 230-31, no. 149. 
The locus at Susa is nowhere given. 

3. For the hair: Canal, 1976,^. 85-86, fig. 14 (another stone 
plaque from Susa). For the sword: Hinz, 1969, p. 79; 
Calmeyer, 1988, p. 39. 

4. A. Green, 1986, nos. 78, 79, 88, 89, 91, 92, 99-108. 

5. Ibid., pp. 148ft; Canal, 1976, pp. 84-85. 

6. Stronach, 1978, p. 68, pi. 58, fig. 34. 

7. For the view that this scene and another depicting a fish- 
garbed priest at Pasargadae derived from Assyria, see ibid., 
pp. 74-75, with other references. 

Glazed Objects and 

the Elamite Glaze Industry 

In the fourth millennium B.C., glazing was used in 
Elam on ornaments and other objects; simple raw 
materials were enhanced by the creation of an attrac- 
tive and colorful surface. Both glazed stones and man- 
made faience (glazed sintered quartz or other highly 
siliceous stone) were used. Grave goods at Susa dating 
to the Proto-Elamite period include glazed beads, or- 
naments, and cylinder seals. 1 In the late fourth millen- 
nium small glazed vessels appear in the graves, 2 and in 
the third millennium animal figurines as well as small 
vessels are found. 3 Similar material appears in Meso- 
potamia, beginning with beads in the later fifth mil- 
lennium ('Ubaid levels).* 

Not until the mid-second millennium were glazed 
objects in terracotta (new at this time) and faience 
made in quantity in the Near East. These were manu- 
factured in centers controlled by the Kassites, 
Hurrians-Mitannians, or Assyrians, and in Elam. In 
the Middle Elamite period, beginning in the reign of 
Untash-Napirisha (ca, 1340-1300 B.C.) at Chogha 
Zanbil, a special terminology described glazed objects 
and bricks. The Elamite word mushi is thought to 
mean glazed terracotta, while upkumia occurs in in- 
scriptions on glazed bricks describing the kukunnum 
sanctuary atop the ziggurat there. 5 

In the twelfth century the king Shutruk- 
Nahhunte I (1190-1155 B.C.) proclaimed that he was 
the inventor of a new technique (akti) for making 
bricks from a highly siliceous architectural faience 
(often called gres emaille by the excavators 6 and more 
recently, pate siliceuse) (see p. 123). By the time of the 
reign of the king Hallushu (Hallutash)-Inshushinak 
(698-693 B.C.) in the Neo-Elamite period, the same 
sort of bricks were inscribed with the word uhna, or 
stone, which indeed describes their appearance, simi- 
lar to sandstone (gres). 7 Smaller objects such as vessels 
and statuettes were also made of the highly siliceous 
faience, but their consistency differs from that of the 

The archaeological evidence in the Middle Elamite 
period begins with the glazed wall knobs found at Haft 
Tepe (reign of Tepti-ahar, fifteenth century B.C.). 
Some of these are probably faience and are thus the 
earliest architectural faience produced in Elam. 8 In the 
fourteenth century a great variety of glazed objects 
were produced at Chogha Zanbil: large glazed terra- 

Glazed Objects and the Elamite Glaze Industry | 203 

cotta plaques, knobs, decorated bricks, and winged 
bulls and griffins, plus the smaller faience statuary, 
vessels, ornaments, maceheads, and seals found in the 
ziggurat complex, in numerous temples, and in the 
palais hypogee (funerary palace). 9 Evidence of faience 
making was found in the workshop debris of the so- 
called temple of Kiririsha West. 10 Later Middle 
Elamite and early Neo-Elamite use of this site is docu- 
mented by certain vessel shapes with parallels else- 
where — a faience carinated bowl with molded band 
found in the palais hypogee (cf. pottery from Ville 
Royale II, levels 10 and 9-8, and Malyan edd iva), 11 
and fragmentary square and truncated conical boxes 12 
(see below). 

The lack of findspot information at Susa makes it 
more difficult to date glazed objects to specific dynas- 
ties. The Shutrukid kings, however, favored faience, 
and certain classes of inscribed architectural objects 
can be attributed to their twelfth-century reigns: 
quarter-rosette relief plaques (Shutruk-Nahhunte I), 
mushroom-shaped wall knobs (Shilhak-Inshushinak), 
and relief bricks that formed figural decoration^ (see 
p. 125 and fig. 13, p. 11). 

As at Chogha Zanbil, numerous vessels and stat- 
uettes of humans, divinities, and animals were found 
at Susa. Those that can be dated to the Middle Elamite 
period include votary figures from Acropole "de- 
posits" (see Nos. 92-95) and round, molded boxes 
from the eastern Apadana excavations and the Ville 
Royale II, level 10 (late Middle Elamite). x 4 

Quarter-rosette plaques were found at Malyan in 
the highlands, in the building of the late Middle Ela- 
mite period (end of edd iva, reign of Huteludush- 
Inshushinak, ca. late twelfth century B.C.). A later 
phase (IIIA, ca. 1000 B.C.) yielded a knob with a relief 
figure; if not a holdover, the knob indicates faience 
production into the early Neo-Elamite period. ^ 

In Iran, unlike elsewhere in the Near East, faience- 
making persisted into the first millennium. In the 
Neo-Elamite period at Susa, earlier types of vessels 
and figurines continue according to relative strati- 
graphic contexts: molded cylindrical boxes (Ville Roy- 
ale II, level 9-8), 16 small birds (Ville Royale II, level 
8)/7 and decorated bricks. 18 New classes of objects 
were also made; among them were incised square and 
truncated conical boxes (Ville Royale II, level 9-8) 
(No. 145), figural protomes, and polychrome glaze- 
painted plaques (No. 144) and boxes (No. 146), some 
using black outlines for the first time. Comparable ob- 
jects found at Surkh Dum, Chigha Sabz, and Karkhai 

in Luristan (cylindrical, truncated conical, and square 
boxes, protomes, and bird figurines) demonstrate that 
interconnections existed in the faience industry at this 
time (Iron II — III period). *9 

Glazed terracotta became popular in the later Neo- 
Elamite period when different forms of bottles were 
included among tomb goods. Many are small and 
globular, 20 but some have pointed bases like those of 
contemporaneous glass vessels. 21 

Glazed objects were often intended for funerary 
use — for instance, knobs and plaques are dedicated to 
Ishnikarab, the chief intercessor of Inshushinak — and 
many glazed vessels come from tombs. Fragmentary 
texts from some of the eastern Apadana tombs refer to 
the great thirst of the deceased, who desire water as 
well as oil, and invoke Lagamal and Ishnikarab, the 
deities of the underworld who are intermediaries be- 
tween the deceased and Inshushinak. 22 A glazed sur- 
face is impermeable to liquids and more suitable for 
long-term use than terracotta. Glazed objects may 
thus have been favored for special dedications and 
grave goods. 


1. Moorey, 1985, pp. 137, 142-43; technical analyses must be 
made in order to distinguish faience from glazed stone. 

2. Ibid., pp. 143-44. 

3. Ibid., pp. 144-46; for Susa vase a la cachette fragmentary 
faience vessel: Mecquenem, 1934, pp. 189-90, fig. 21, no. 9 
(Sb 2723/54); for vessels and an animal figurine: Amiet, 
1966, no. 172 b-d. 

4. Moorey, 1985, pp. 137, 142-46. 

5. Steve, 1987, p. 18; idem, 1968, p. 292 n. 5. 

6. Steve, 1968, pp. 291-92; Konig, 1965, no. 17. 

7. Steve, 1968, p. 293, especially n. 2. 

8. Ferioli and Fiandra, 1979, pp. 310-11, figs. 4-6; fig. 4b is 
"frit" (i.e., faience) (E. Negahban, personal communication). 

For the new chronology of the early Middle Elamite period 
see Steve and Vallat, 1989, p. 226 and passim. 

9. Ghirshman, 1966 and 1968, passim. 

10. Ghirshman, 1966, p. 95; Carter and Stolper, 1984, p. 161 
(should refer to Kiririsha West, not East). 

11. Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 161-62, 184; Miroschedji, 
1981b, p. 37; Ghirshman, 1968, pp. 59-74. 

12. Mecquenem and Michalon, 1953, p. 44, fig. 7. 

13. Plaques: Amiet, 1966, no. 300; for the date, see Steve, 1987, 
p. 29, no. 11. Knobs: Jequier, 1900, pi. 4; Konig, 1965, 

no. 44. Bricks: Amiet, i976d, pp. 13-28; Grillot, 1983, 
pp. 19-20, 22-23. 

14. Susa pyxides: Mecquenem, 1922, pp. 127-28, fig. 9 (Sb 
418) = Amiet, 1966, no. 372; Mecquenem, 1920 ff. (Rap- 
port), 1923, pp. 10-11; idem, 1924, pp. 115-16; idem, 1943, 
pp. 48-50, fig. 41:1 (Sb 420 and 421; vaulted tomb C, 
southeastern Apadana, at -10.25 m )/' see a l so: Miroschedji, 

204 I The Neo-Elamite Period 

1981b, p. 38 n. 73 (tomb C as Middle Elamite in date); for 
Ville Royale II, niveau 10 fragment: ibid., p. 17. 

15. Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 173, 188-89; idem, 1976, 
pp. 36,38, fig. 1. 

16. Miroschedji, 1981b, p. 38. 

17. Ibid., p. 24, fig. 27:2. 

18. Amiet, 1966, nos. 392, 395-400. 

19. For Surkh bum and Chigha Sabz: Schmidt, Van Loon, and 
Curvers, 1989, pis. 143d, 149), i5oa-b,d, i5ib-c, 153a, 
i54c-d. For Karkhai: Vanden Berghe, 1973a, pp. 28-29. 

20. Miroschedji, 1981b, p. 39, fig. 39, nos. 26-33 {niveau 7B 
tomb group). 

21. Amiet, 1966, nos. 377-78; Mecquenem, 1922, p. 132, fig. 5. 

22. Scheil, 1916, pp. 165-74; Mecquenem, 1920 ff. (Rapport), 
1920-21, p. 13; Konig, 1965, p. 84 n. 9; Bottero, 1982, 
pp. 373-406, especially nos. 15 and 18. 

143 Statuette of a worshiper 

Faience (pate siliceuse); polychrome glaze: white, 
yellow, green 

H. 10V4 in, (26 cmj; W. 4V8 in. (11 cm) 
Neo-Elamite period, ca. 8th- jth century B.C. 
Southeast Apadana; Sh 45S 
Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The angular features and stylized, crude execution 
of this piece set it apart from other small-scale stat- 
uary found at Susa. Articulated in glaze, now poorly 
preserved, are a yellow face with white eyes and 
mouth, yellow bracelets, and a green garment. 1 The 
hands are clasped high on the chest in prayer or 

Other simply modeled but more fragmentary 
statuettes, with similar bell-shaped skirts (including 
the bustlelike back) and gestures, have been exca- 
vated at Susa, but their contexts and dates are 
unknown. 2 This complete statuette was found in 
the eastern Apadana excavations by Roland de 
Mecquenem near two tombs 20 to 26 feet deep ( — 6 
to 8 m), both containing glazed terracotta vases and 
one also having iron arrowheads and fibulae, all as- 
sociated with the Neo-Elamite periods 

A similar crude stylization is also found in stat- 
uette fragments from Luristan. Heads from Surkh 
Dum (Iron Age, ca. 800-600 B.C.) with prominent 
noses and chins, heavy brows, and caplike hairdos 
can be roughly compared to the Susa piece. A head- 
less faience statuette from that site has the same 
broad, angular shoulders and columnar shape, and 
cast metal pin-head figures recall the gesture, pro- 
file, brows, and hairdo of the Susa piece. 4 All of 
these objects point to close connections between the 
art of Susa and Luristan in the Neo-Elamite period. 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 365; Spycket, 1981, pp. 390-91, pi. 251. 

2. Spycket, 1981, p. 390 (Sb 6726); also, Musee du Louvre, 
Departement des Antiquites Orientales: E584 (bust only), 
F285, 8639. 

3. Mecquenem, 1922, pp. 125-26, fig. 7 (parvis est, coupe au 
sud, tombs C and D, at -6 to 8 m); idem, 1920 ff. [Rapport], 
1920-21, pp. 8-11 niveau superieur," Neo-Elamite period). 

4. Schmidt, Van Loon, and Curvers, 1989, pp. 234, 244 (heads 
Sor 458, 1003), pi. 146 a, d; pp. 246-47, 252, pi. 153c (stat- 
uette Sor 79); pp. 271, 310-11, pi. 182b, d (bronze pin heads 
Sor 1132, 665). 


Side view 

2o6 I The Neo-Elamite Period 

144 Plaque with fantastic animals 

Faience (pate siliceusej; polychrome glaze; yellow, 
blue-green, white, with black outlines 
H. yVs in. (18 cm); w. y 7 /s in. (20 cm); D. 1 in. 
(2.5 cm) 

Neo-Elamite period, ca. 8th century B.C. 
Ville Royale u, lower level; Sb 3352 
Excavated by Mecquenem, March 3, 1927. 

This well-known fragment is the best preserved of 
several polychrome faience plaques with a similar 
five-figure composition excavated at Susa. 1 On this 
example a demon with bird claws, wearing a fringed 
garment with elaborate tasseled belt, stands on two 
couchant lion-griffins while dominating feline mon- 
sters; the left monster is partly preserved. The deco- 
rative borders are made up of a guilloche and 
crosses. The excavator stated that a two-colored ro- 
sette knob was found with the fragment; it would 
have fit in the central hole, in the torso of the 
demon, for attachment of the plaque. 2 

The plaque and knob were found in one of the old 
southwestern Ville Royale excavation trenches by 
Roland de Mecquenem. These and other fragmen- 

tary polychrome glazed plaques, wall knobs, tablets, 
and stone figurines found nearby may have been as- 
sociated with a temple on a massif that was sur- 
rounded by an Elamite cemetery. Some plaque 
fragments were found in the lowest level below the 
so-called Neo-Babylonian, and Achaemenid, levels. ^ 

The technique of outlining polychrome designs 
with a black glaze sets some of these plaques apart. 
Perhaps the earliest, a securely dated Elamite exam- 
ple of the technique, is on a glaze-painted faience 
box (No. 146) excavated in the Ville Royale A and 
dated to the ninth century B.C. (early Neo-Elamite 
period). Contemporary use of such outlines is found 
on ninth-century and later Neo- Assyrian wall 
plaques, and comparable types are found at Hasanlu 
(level IVBJ.4 

The composition of felines with one leg poised 
on a demon has parallels in the glyptic of the Neo- 
Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and Neo-Elamite pe- 
riods. ^ In the art of Luristan, a bronze horse bit has 
winged lions that stand in the same manner. 6 A date 
in the early Neo-Elamite period seems appropriate 
for this finely executed plaque. 



Glazed Objects and the Elamite Glaze Industry | 207 

1. Mecquenem, 1928a, pp. 170-71, fig. 1; idem, 1943, 

pp. 38-39, fig. 31(3); Porada, 1964, pp. 29, fig. 3c, 30; idem, 
1965, pp. 68-69, pi. 14 bottom, pp. 76, 78; Amiet, 1966, 
no. 383; idem, 1967, pp. 31 n. 2, 33; idem, 1972a, p. 273 
n. 2; Moorey, 1971, p. 124; Porada, 1975, p. 387, pi. 35; 
Amiet, 1988b, p. 115, fig. 72. Other examples: Amiet, 1966, 
nos. 386, 391; Louvre Sb 3347, unpublished. 

2. Mecquenem, 1928a, p. 171; idem, 1943, p. 40, fig. 33(4); cf. 
Amiet, 1966, no. 301. 

3. Found 1927, Ville Royale 11 "niveau inferieur": Mecquenem, 
1920 ff. [Rapport), 1926, p. 17 (an Inshushinak temple); ibid., 
1927, pp. 5, 13 (chantier C, "grand sondage"); ibid., 1980, 
pp. 35-36; idem, 1922H (Journal), 1927. Other plaque frag- 
ments: idem, 1943, figs. 31:1 (same as Amiet, 1966, no. 386), 
32:2 (same as Amiet, 1966, no. 391). 

4. Andrae, 1925, pis. 7-8, 31-32; Pauline Albenda, "Decorated 
Assyrian Knob-Plates in the British Museum/' Iraq 53 
(1991), pp. 43-53, passim; de Schauensee, 1988, p. 49, 

fig. 18. 

5. Smith, 1928, pi. 2ie (B.M. no. 99.406); Porada, 1947, 
pp. 155-56; Amiet, 1973a, p. 8. 

6. Johannes A. H. Potratz, "Das 'Kampfmotiv' in der Luristan 
Kunst," Orientalia 21, no. 1 (1952), Tab. 11:5, 

145, two views 


Faience (pate siliceuse); traces of monochrome glaze 

H. 6V 4 in. (17 cm); w. 6 7 /s in. (17.5 cm) 

Early Neo~Elamite period, ca. ythSth century B.C. 

Apadana, west court; Sb 2810 

Excavated by Mecquenem, March 28, 1935. 

One of the finest of Elamite faience pyxides, this 
square piece carved in low relief has representations 
of two types of striding monsters, framed by 
hatched borders, on opposite sides : human-headed, 
bearded, winged leonine sphinxes wearing horned 
headdresses with bovine ears; and griffins flanking 
trees. Full rosettes and quarter- rosettes are filler 
motifs. A guilloche that runs around the top is in- 
terrupted by two pierced female heads that serve as 
handles and anchors for the missing lid. 1 

The piece was excavated by Mecquenem on the 
Apadana mound under the floor of the western court 
of the Achaemenid palace. It was found at the lowest 
level, along with other fragmentary vessels, 
glazed objects, and burned material including 
animal bones. This level is earlier than the so-called 

2o8 The Neo-Elamite Period 

Neo-Babylonian (i.e., late Neo-Elamite) level, whose 
assemblage of objects was different. 2 

In Luristan at Karkhai, a similar pyxis with in- 
cised decoration was excavated in a tomb dating to 
the end of the Iron II period (eighth century B.C.). 3 
That find supports an early Neo-Elamite date for the 
Susa box. 

Art-historical parallels for the sphinx representa- 
tions on this piece include similar images on Iranian 
beakers (ca. tenth to eighth century B.C.) 4 and on 
Middle Assyrian, Middle Elamite, and later Kassite 
and Isin II seals. s At Susa, winged sphinxes appear 
in the Neo-Elamite period as figural knobs, and sim- 
ilar head types exist on bull-god knobs. 6 The motifs 
of griffins, trees, rosettes, guilloches, and hatched 
borders also appear on incised, curved vessel frag- 
ments from Chogha Zanbil (unstratified outside the 
temenos; later Middle Elamite to early Neo- 
Elamite) and Surkh Dum (ca. 750-650 B.C.). 7 
Griffins are also represented on Neo-Elamite glaze- 
painted bricks from Susa and elsewhere in Iranian 
art, including Luristan bronzes. 8 


1. Amiet, 1966, no. 375; idem, 1988b, pp. 112-13, fig- 68 / 
Porada, 1965, pp. 70-72, fig. 46. 

2. At a depth of —6 m; parvis ouest. Mecquenem, 1943, 

pp. 35-36, fig. 28; idem, 1920 ff. (Rapport), 1934-35, p. 7; 
idem, 1980, p. 43; idem, 1922 ff. (Journal), March 28, 1935. 

3. Vanden Berghe, 1973a, pp. 28-29 (tomb 1). 

4. Porada, 1965, pp. 70-72; Muscarella, 1974b, pp. 248-49. 

5. Kantor, 1958, pi. 75, no. 96; Moortgat, 1940, no. 580; Porada, 
1970, pp. 75-76, nos. 88-90; Beran, 1958, pp. 259-61, 
Abb. 3; Moortgat, 1940, no. 688, pp. 71-72. 

6. Sphinxes: Amiet, 1967, pp. 36-37, fig. 8; bull-gods: ibid., 
pp. 38-40, figs. 9b, iob, 11; Mecquenem, 1943, pp. 49, 64, 
fi g- 53H- 

7. Chogha Zanbil: Mecquenem and Michalon, 1953 , p. 43, fig. 7 
(1-5). Surkh Dum: Amiet, 1976a, p. 60, fig. 39; Schmidt, 
Van Loon, and Curvers, 1989, pp. 247-48, 490, pis. 151b, 
i54d (Sor 21). 

8. Amiet, 1966, nos. 396-97, 400A; idem, 1976a, p. 59, 
no. 114. 


Faience (pate siliceusej; pale green glaze with black 

H. 4 3 /s in. (11.2 cm); w. 4 5 A in. (11.8 cm) 
Early Neo-Elamite period, ca. yth century B.C. 
Ville Roy ale A, chantier A IX, tomb 27; Sb 4.604. 
Excavated by Ghirshman, 1953-56. 

Of all the faience pyxides found in Elam, only a few 
have glaze-painted decoration. This square one has 
gazelles passant on each side with a double hatched 
border at the top and hatched triangles around the 
bottom. Two pierced lugs hold the lid, which is 
decorated with leaf motifs filling a square. The back- 
ground and interior color is now pale green, and the 
decoration is drawn with black outlines. 

The box was excavated in the Ville Royale, chan- 
tier A, in an intrusive tomb that had been cut into 
level IX (ca. 1050-900 B.C.), and was dated to about 
the ninth century because of comparable pottery 
types found in Ville Royale II, level 9. Another 
glaze-painted pyxis with no preserved decoration 
comes from Ville Royale A IX as well, but its context 
is unpublished. 1 

The gazelles, with large eyes and flanks articu- 
lated by bars and necks by " collars/' are executed in a 
stiff, awkward manner. They recall lesser-quality 


Glazed Objects and the Elamite Glaze Industry \ 209 

glaze -painted faience wall plaques of the Neo- Elamite 
period found at Susa, especially one with a poorly 
drawn passant bull with similar articulated details. 2 

The lower, hatched-triangle border is most simi- 
lar to those on faience pyxides, both square and in 
the shape of truncated cones, from Luristan (Karkhai 
and Surkh Dum) and is exactly paralleled on a seal 
from Chogha Zanbil dated by Edith Porada to the 
first millennium. 3 Plain hatched bands are common 
on faience pyxides in general (see No. 145), includ- 
ing a glaze-painted one from Susa that also has a 
molded female head as a handle. 4 

The variety of styles seen among faience pyxides 
found in Elam and Luristan in the first millennium 
suggests that they were made by different hands and 
workshops, perhaps by itinerant craftsmen. 


1. Sb 4604 (G.S. 3546, tomb 27, A/IX), unpublished. The tomb 
was renumbered as 226 for a forthcoming publication in MDP 
48 (H. Gasche, personal communication). For context and 
date: Steve, Gasche, and De Meyer, 1980, pp. 57-60, 76-78; 
for ceramic comparanda (reference courtesy of H. Gasche): 
Miroschedji, 1981b, fig. 23:4-5. Plain glaze-painted pyxis: 
Sb 4603 (G.S. 3435, A/IX, tomb 11), Departement des 
Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre. 

2. Amiet, 1966, no. 391; Porada, 1965, pi. 14, top. 

3. Karkhai: Vanden Berghe, 1973a, pp. 28-29. Surkh Dum: 
Amiet, 1976a, p. 60, fig. 39; Schmidt, Van Loon, and 
Curvers, 1989, pis. 151 b, 154 d (Sor 21). Chogha Zanbil: 
Porada, 1970, pp. 99, 103, no. 122 (temple of Simut and 

4. Musee du Louvre, archive of the Departement des Antiquites 
Orientales, excavation photo (unnumbered), context unknown. 

147 Head wearing elaborate headdress 

Faience (pate siliceusej; polychrome glaze: white, 
yellow, light green 

H. 2 5 A in. (6.8 cm); w. 2 2 /s in. (5.4 cm) 

Early Neo~Elamite period, ca. $th-8th century B.C. 

Southeastern Apadana; Sb 457 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1921. 

Of a group of statuette heads excavated at Susa, this 
is one of the finest and best preserved. The heart- 
shaped, smiling face has large eyes in white outlined 
in blue-green, and the visorlike headdress has bovine 
ears, a striated pattern, and a bulbous topknot, 
which almost looks like part of the hairdo, secured 
by the headdress. 

This object was found east of the Apadana palace, 
where, a large Elamite necropolis was discovered 1 and 


where several other weathered faience heads of de- 
ities wearing differently styled horned headdresses 
with bovine ears were also found. 2 At least one 
comes from the same level as this head, — 26 feet 
( — 8 m), in the "etage inferieur" with faience vessels 
just above the level of the Middle Elamite temple 
floor and its debris (26 to 31 feet [8-9.5 m l ^ n 
depth), but below the late Neo-Elamite material 
{"etage superieur").! 

Another glaze-painted faience head, poorly made 
but with the very same knobbed headdress, details, 
and colors as this head, was excavated at Susa, but its 
context is unknown. 4 Different versions of high- 
crowned headgear are seen in Elamite art, usually 
with horns indicating divinity, as on the stele of 
Untash-Napirisha (No. 80), the bull-men on the 
Shutrukid baked brick relief facade (No. 88), the 
bull-god faience protomes, and the sphinxes on a 
faience pyxis (No. 145). 5 

Close parallels for the knobbed headdress worn 
on the statuette head appear on a deity and atten- 
dants on a seal dated to the Middle Elamite period 
(though in this case it is not clear whether bovine 
ears are present). 6 Because our piece lacks horns, it is 
not certain whether the head is divine; perhaps it 
represents a lesser deity identified by the bovine 


210 The Neo-Elamite Period 

1. e. no, excavated 1921, Apadana, parvis est, coupe au sud, at 
-8 m: Amiet, 1966, no. 367; Mecquenem, 1922, p. 126, 
pi. 5 upper right; idem, 1920 ff. (Rapport), 1920-21, p. 10 
(etage inferieur). 

2. Sb 3580 (e. 90), excavated 1921, Apadana, parvis est, coupe au 
sud, at -8 m: Amiet, 1967, pi. 5, 3, and see idem, 1966, 

p. 492; Mecquenem, 1922, p. 127, pi. 5, upper left (same as 
Mecquenem, 1943, p. 64, fig. 53:1-2). Sb 6659 (D.112; e. 
439): Amiet, 1967, pi. 6, 1; idem, 1966, no. 369. 

3. Mecquenem, 1920 ff. (Rapport), 1920-21, pp. 8-1.1; idem, 
1922, p. 127. 

4. Sb 3583; Mecquenem excavation, 1933. 

5. Protome: Amiet, 1967, figs. 9-10. 

6. Porada, 1986, pp. 181-85, fig. 1 (British Museum). 

148 Bull knob 

Faience (pate siliceusej; rraces of green glaze, restored 
H. 4 5 /s in. (11.8 cm); L. 3 in. (7.5 cm); w. 2% in. 
(5.6 cm) 

Neo-Elamite period, ca. 8th-yth century B.C. 
Sb 6711 

Excavated by Morgan. 

Knob figurines, protomelike sculptures decorating 
architecture or furniture, are found as early as the 
third millennium at Susa and also in Mesopotamia 
and Syria. 1 Faience examples were found in different 
but poorly documented .locations at Susa (many of 
which may be temple sites) ; it is unclear whether 
any are Middle Elamite in date. 2 

Bull-knob figurines are the most numerous 
among the various types of these sculptures, which 
include bull-gods, "sphinxes/' other fragmentary 
winged creatures, horses, monkeys, and humanlike 
figures. 3 This piece, with its elegant, mannered 
style and modeled details, is certainly the finest 
known example. The mane is decoratively braided 
and the long pendent curls and crownlike horns give 
the bull a supernatural quality that suggests the 
world of monsters. The figurine has been compared 
to the couchant griffins on the well-preserved Neo- 
Elamite polychrome glazed wall plaque with a de- 
mon dominating a feline creature (No. 144). 4 Several 
similar fragmentary bull protomes exist, some exe- 
cuted by other hands,^ as well as miniature versions 
such as one attached to a vessel. 6 

In Luristan at Chigha Sabz (Iron III period), a 
closely related bull knob was found? that helps to 
confirm the Neo-Elamite date of the Susa piece. 
Similar couchant bulls appear on Luristan bronzes 
both in the round and chased on sheet metal. 8 

Prototypes for the Elamite knob protomes may 


perhaps be sought in Kassite art, where couchant an- 
imals and forequarters of creatures are depicted as 
symbols of deities on kudurrus; 9 many examples of 
these were taken to Susa by the Shutrukid kings 
(see Nos. 115, 116) and probably set up in the tem- 
ples on the southwestern Acropole. A number of 
them may still have been visible in Neo-Elamite 
times. The Neo-Elamite knob figurines, in turn, 
may very well have inspired the addorsed bull capi- 
tals of the later Persian apadanas. 


1. Amiet, 1976c, p. 59 n. 55, pi. 16; idem, 1967, p. 31; Parrot, 
1967a, pi. 74, no. 2274 (Mari). 

2. Heim, 1989, pp. 200-202. 

3. Amiet, 1967, passim, figs. 5-13, pi. 5, 1-2. 

4. Porada, 1965, pp. 68-69, pi- M- 

5. Unpublished examples, Musee du Louvre, Sb 6721, 6722, 
6724, 4279, M.-27. Other styles: Sb 6712, 3077 (Amiet, 
1967, pi. 5,1; p. 32, fig. 3). 

6. Ibid., p. 33, fig, 4. 

7. Schmidt, Van Loon, and Curvers, 1989, pp. 24, 233 (25B.6), 
pi. 145^- 

8. Halberd, horse bits, disk-headed pins: Amiet, 1976a, pp. 38, 
58, 61, 63; idem, 1966, no, 382; Moorey, 1971, pp. 213-14, 
no. 361. 

9. King, 1912, pi. 91 (bull). 

Seals | 211 


149 Cylinder seal with banquet scene 


H. i 3 /s in. (3.6 cm); diam. *A in. (1.2 cm); string hole 
Vs in. (.3 cm) 

Middle or Neo-Elamite period, late md-early 1st 
millennium B.C. 
Sb 6177 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1923. 

This seal, which is rather crude in style, was ini- 
tially placed in the Neo-Elamite period by Pierre 
Amiet, who related it to the figures of a seated lady 
and attendant on a plaque dated to the eighth to sev- 
enth century B.C. (No. 141). 1 The imagery on the 
seal can also be compared to that on faience cylin- 
ders of the Middle Elamite period, leaving some 
doubt regarding its date of manufacture — a situation 
reflected in Amiet's later dating of the piece to the 
Middle Elamite period. 2 We have no information 
regarding the seal's findspot. 3 

The central figure, drinking from a cup, wears a 
long Elamite robe with a fringed hem and sits on a 
stool. Before the figure is a table laden with vessels 
and an attendant who stands holding a rectangular 
fan in both hands. Both figures have distinctive 
Elamite coiffures that protrude at the front. The fig- 
ures, rudely executed, are squat with large heads, 
exaggerated features, and flat, unmodeled bodies. 
A slightly raised, sharply curving outline defines the 
back of the head, shoulders, and waist. The table is 
rendered from two viewpoints : the bovine legs are 

seen head-on, while three vessels rest on one line 
of the rectangle that defines the tabletop as seen 
from above. 4 

A banquet, with an attendant (often holding a 
fan) before a seated figure and with food and drink 
in evidence, is one of the most common themes on 
faience cylinder seals that were perhaps left as offer- 
ings in chapels of the great sanctuary at Chogha 
Zanbil. A scene representing attendance in the royal 
court could, by analogy, refer to homage in the di- 
vine sphere. In all examples, however, the seated 
figure has no distinctively divine attributes. The in- 
scription on many Chogha Zanbil seals of this type, 
but lacking here, is a prayer that invokes both god 
and king as protective forces. 

The designs of banquet scenes and images on 
other seals from Chogha Zanbil (see discussion for 
No. 103) derive in part from the Kassite glyptic tra- 
dition of Babylonia. Differences include their rather 
cursory linear style and the placement of a rich ar- 
ray of food and vessels on the tabled 


1. Amiet, 1966, p. 541, no. 414. Porada (1962, p. 50) dates a 
similar seal to the early Neo-Elamite period (9th-8th century 
B.C.) and refers to the seated figure's pointed headgear; see 
also Edith Porada, ed., Ancient Art in Seals (Princeton, 1980), 
p. 30, fig. 1-12. 

2. Amiet, 1972a, p. 268, no. 2063, pi. 179; Collon, 1987, pp. 68, 
69, 86, 88, no. 406. 

3. Mecquenem, 1925, pp. 9-10, 15, no. 46. 

4. This contrasts with the table on No. 141, which is rendered as 
one would perceive it. 

5. This style has similarities to the later Neo- Assyrian linear 
style: Porada, 1948, pi. 97, no. 666. 


Modern impression 

212 | The Neo-Elamite Period 

150 Cylinder seal with animal musicians 

Red marble 

h. 7 /s in. (2.25 cm); diam. Ys in. (1 cm); string hole 
Ys in. (.3 cm) 

Neo-Elamite period, yth century B.C. 
Sb 6281 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1928. 

During the 1927-28 campaigns conducted by Mec- 
quenem, a number of cylinder seals were discovered 
on both the Acropole and, in a funerary context, the 
Ville Royale mounds. 1 No further information exists 
on the specific archaeological findspot of Number 
150, which came to light in those excavations. It has 
been dated on stylistic grounds to the Neo-Elamite 
period. 2 Its style is derived in part from the glyptic 
style of the late Middle Elamite period (see No. 
104); the dynamic figures do not adhere to a single 
ground line and have curving, attenuated bodies with 
arched necks. The scene is of four animals taking 
part in a musical performance. An upright horse 
holding a harp with its front legs is confronted by a 
rampant lion with a rectangular object that seems to 
be suspended from a cord around its neck — perhaps 
a drum seen from the side. Between the two animals 
a tiny quadruped stands, one leg raised in a position 
known for human dancers.^ Another small equid 
stands upright behind the lion in the upper field, 
playing a double flute. 4 

The harp depicted on the seal is defined by an 
upper diagonal line, a horizontal line for the sound- 
box, and four strings, two of which hang down from 
the bottom of the instrument. On the basis of the 
study of actual surviving instruments from a much 
earlier context — the royal cemetery at Ur in south- 
ern Mesopotamia (2600-2400 B.C.) — some scholars 
believe that this type of harp is simplified in the de- 
piction and actually had many more strings. * Finds 

from that cemetery include harps and lyres made of 
precious materials, some lyres embellished with the 
heads of bulls. 

Double pipes are less frequently depicted, but 
they occur along with harps and drums on an As- 
syrian relief from Nineveh depicting Elamite musi- 
cians. 6 The shape of the object held by the lion on 
the seal shown here is unusual for Near Eastern rep- 
resentations, where drums are generally shown in 
top view as circular or in side view as kettle-shaped. 

In the Near East, images of musicians occur on a 
variety of objects, ranging from imposing architec- 
tural reliefs to seals and terracotta plaques. Musi- 
cians have a place in the royal activities of war and 
hunt and are represented on courtly objects, such as 
the lyre and inlaid standard from Ur. They are also 
depicted on objects with religious symbols, such as a 
Kassite kudurru found at Susa (No. 116). 

Scenes of animals in human attitudes have been 
regarded as illustrations of myths or fables. Notable 
Sumerian examples depicting animal musicians 
come from Ur: one is an inlay on one of the surviv- 
ing lyres with a scene of a seated equid playing a 
fanciful lyre with a bull-shaped soundbox, assisted 
by a bear and a smaller creature with a rattle; an- 
other is a seal with a row of standing equids playing 
harps. / A scene on one of the large orthostats from 
the palace at Tell Halaf in northern Syria, depicting 
a seated lion playing a lyre in the company of other 
animal musicians, 8 dates to the early first millen- 
nium B.C. 

These animal musicians are different from Near 
Eastern demons, who also stand like humans but 
mix anthropomorphic and animal features (see 
No. 80). They more closely resemble the animal 
musicians and game players that illustrate Egyptian 
satirical papyri. 9 


Seals | 213 

1. Mecquenem, 1928a, p. 169. 

2. Amiet, 1972a, p. 282, no. 2184, pi. 188; Mecquenem, 1928a, 
pp. 169 no. 1, 175 no. 1. 

3. Porada, 1948, pis. 74-75/ nos. 555-56. For another Susa seal 
with this motif, see Amiet, 1972a, p. 277, no. 2136. 

4. Amiet, 1972a, p. 282, no. 2184, pi. 188. 

5. Duchesne-Guillemin, 1981, p. 292. 

6. Rimmer, 1969, pp. 34-36, pis, 13, 14. 

7. Orthmann, 1975, pi. 9; Galpin, 1937, pi. 5. 

8. M. von Oppenheim, 1955, pi. 100. 

9. Emma Brunner-Traut, Altdgyptische Tiergeschichte und Fabel 
(Darmstadt, 1970), pp. 911., fig. 4. 

151 Cylinder seal with human-headed 
winged creature and inscription 

Blue chalcedony 

H. 5 /a in. (1.7 cm); diam. Vs in. (.8 cm); string hole 
Vie in. (.2 cm) 

Neo-Elamite period, late yth-e-arly 6th century B.C. 

AOD 109 

During the late seventh and early sixth centuries 
B.C., a fine style of seal carving emerged in Elam. It 
is characterized by dynamic, boldly modeled figures 
of real and fantastic animals, the former appearing 
mainly in scenes of hunt and war and the latter de- 
picted alone or in formal groups. The seal from Susa 
is a very beautiful example of the latter type and 
shows a striding supernatural creature with the body 
of a bull, the head of a bearded human but with 
goat's horns, and long, curving wings. The human- 
headed winged bull, or lamassu, is a protective fig- 
ure, perhaps best known from the colossal sculp- 
tures in Assyrian palace gates and doorways. 1 The 
spirited figure on this seal struts with a full chest, 
one leg forward, and one rear leg extended back. The 
beast's body is strongly modeled, with a definition of 
the musculature that may be seen as a precursor of 
the Achaemenid seal style. 2 The animal figure is 

framed by an inscription: "Shuktiti, son of Huban- 

Prancing animals are depicted on glazed bricks 
associated with a small Neo-Elamite temple on the 
Susa Acropole that has been dated to the time of 
Shutruk-Nahhunte II (716-699 B.C.). 4 However, the 
closest parallels for the motif of a single animal with 
an inscription are on seal impressions on adminis- 
trative tablets, found at both Susa and Persepolis. 
One example with a striding winged human-headed 
creature occurs on a tablet that is part of a group of 
documents found near the Neo-Elamite temple at 
Susa, but in an archaeological level said to postdate 
the Assyrian destruction of about 646 B.C. 5 A royal 
seal of the same type, inscribed with the name of 
the son of the Elamite ruler Shutur-Nahhunte, also 
points to the dating of this glyptic in the period be- 
tween the Assyrian devastation and the Achaemenid 
domination in the late sixth century B.C. 6 It is en- 
graved with a formal composition of two upright 
mushhushshu dragons supporting a central spade, 
the symbol of the deity Marduk. 

The imagery on these late Neo-Elamite seals is 
derived from Mesopotamia. However, their style — 
which combines strong modeling with a tendency to 
divide the musculature into discrete decorative 
parts — together with the somewhat exaggerated pos- 
tures, may demonstrate an Elamite legacy that is 
manifest in the art of the Achaemenid empire 
(see No. 169). ja 

1. Crawford, Harper, and Pittman, 1990, p. 25. 

2. Delaporte, 1920, pi. 53:12, D116; Amiet, 1973a, p. 20, pi. 7:43. 

3. l Su-uk- 

dumu Hu- 



(The transliteration and translation were provided by Matthew 
W. Stolper, who follows Delaporte.) 

Modern impression 

214 1 The Neo-Elamite Period 

4. Amiet (1966, pp. 518-21, figs. 395-99) suggests that they 
formed a podium; idem, 1967, pp. 27-28. 

5. Amiet, 1973a, pp. 3-4, 11, no. 13, pi. 3:13. 

6. Amiet, 1973a, p. 18, pi. 6:34. 

152 Cylinder seal with man in "median" 
dress and hero conquering bull 

Gray schist 

h. iVs in. (3 cm); diam. Vi in. (1.3 cm); string hole 
Vs in. (.3 cm) 

Neo-Elamite- early Achaemenia 1 period, late yth-6th 
century B.C. 

Ville des Artisans; Sh 1475 
Excavated by Mecquenem. 

This seal is reported to come from the Ville des Ar- 
tisans, an area with remains from Achaemenid and 
later periods. 1 The engraving combines two themes: 
a Neo-Assyrian contest scene with a conquering 
hero subduing a bull by holding its legs and step- 
ping on its head; 2 and a man possibly in Median 
dress, reminiscent of one of the processional figures 
on the Persepolis reliefs (fig. 53, p. 237). 

The bearded conqueror lacks the wings of many 
"masters of animals" but has a tiny horn protruding 
from his head, which could indicate his divinity 3 He 
wears a long togalike robe that is wrapped to allow 
freedom of movement for his left leg. His lowered 
right hand holds a curved weapon, the harpe. In 
both posture and choice of arms, this figure recalls 
depictions of warriors subduing human enemies on 
Babylonian seals (No. 72). 

The standing figure, holding a spear with its tip 
upward, is wearing garments like those described by 
Herodotus as Median in origin: "soft felt cap, em- 
broidered tunic with sleeves . . . and trousers. "4 His 
full hat has a flap hanging at the back over the hair; 
the short clothing has a fringe; and his leggings 
have a cross-hatched pattern. Pierre Amiet calls this 
figure an "Iranian warrior" and dates the seal to the 
period of Assyrian domination around 650 B.C.-* 
While this date seems appropriate for the contest 
scene, it may be problematic for the dating of the 
warrior, who wears a costume otherwise first known 
in the Achaemenid period. 6 


1. Amiet, 1972a, p. 281, no. 2181, pi. 187. 

2. This version of the contest scene dates back to the early 
second millennium, where it occurs on Old Babylonian and 
Anatolian seals: Collon, 1987, pp. 46 fig. 159, 176 fig. 834. 

3. Porada (1948, no. 747) depicts a conquering winged divinity 
with a tiny point protruding from a diadem. 

4. Herodotus VII 62,1: Herodotus: The Histories, trans. Aubrey 
de Selincourt (Harmonds worth, 1954), pp. 438-39; for the 
Median cap with hanging earflaps, see E. Ebeling and B. 
Meissner, RLA (Berlin, 1987-90), vol. 7, p. 615, fig. 1. 

5. Amiet, 1973a, p. 17. For a commentary on the diverse popula- 
tion groups in the vicinity of Susa during the later Neo- 
Elamite period, see Matthew Stolper, below, page 259. 

6. Amiet (1973a, pp. 16-17, no. 30) points to the earlier appear- 
ance of the full bonnet on Iranian seals and on an Assyrian 

Modern impression 

^^.fter Susiana fell to the Assyrians in 646 B.C., the 
Elamites were no longer a major political force. By the middle of the sixth century they had come 
under the rule of the Persians, whose powerful Achaemenid dynasty rapidly conquered a vast 
territory. The Elamites became subordinate partners and were absorbed into that new, Iranian 
empire. Darius the Great (522-486 B.C.), recognizing the traditional importance of the old Elamite 
capital of Susa, fortified it and made it his lowland capital. Once more Susa was under the control of a 
highland dynasty, and again it became a vital, cosmopolitan city and a locus of interchange between 
peoples of the Mesopotamian plain and the Iranian highlands. 1 

In January of 330 B.C., Alexander of Macedon left Babylon for Susa, which surrendered as he 
approached. The palace of Darius had been abandoned, but the vast wealth of its treasury was intact, 
and the city was peacefully occupied. From Susa, Alexander marched to Persepolis, which experi- 
enced a different fate — plunder, massacre, and destruction — bringing the Persian empire to an end. 

1. Miroschedji, 1985, particularly pp. 303-5. 


Achaemenid Art and Architecture at Susa 

.Although ancient texts inform us that Cyrus II (The 
Great: 559-530 B.C.) called himself King of Anshan, 
which implies that he controlled Elam and Susiana, 1 no 
evidence of his sovereignty there or of that of his son 
and successor Cambyses (530-522 B.C.) has been re- 
covered. Extensive excavations conducted over the 
course of a century have in fact yielded not one 
Achaemenid structure or inscription at Susa dating or 
referring to a time before the reign of Darius I 
(522-486 B.C.). 2 The Achaemenid remains at Susa are 
less extensive than those at Persepolis, and they seem 
to be the work of only two Achaemenid kings : Darius I 
and his great-great-grandson, Artaxerxes II (404-359 


It is of course not improbable that structures were 
built at Susa by other Achaemenid kings, as at least one 
ancient source states (Strabo xv:3.2i), but were later 
destroyed by post-Achaemenid building activity In- 
deed, fragmentary inscriptions of Xerxes (486-465 
B.C.) and allegedly of Darius II (424-404 B.C.) have 
been recovered at Susa, but they are more ambiguous 
with regard to building activities presumably men- 
tioned in them than has been recognized. 3 Never- 
theless, some scholars believe, on the basis of these 
incomplete inscriptions, that structures, palaces, and 
an apadana, or columned hall, in addition to the com- 
plexes of Darius I and Artaxerxes II, existed at Susa,4 
perhaps in the area of the Donjon at the southern part 
of the tell, where stone reliefs have been recovered (see 
below). Surely, further analysis of the inscriptions is 
required before secure conclusions are drawn about the 
existence of royal structures other than those already 
revealed by archaeology 

The remains of Darius I's building activities are 
mainly on the so-called Apadana mound, the north- 
western part of the tell; only a propylaion and gate 
were recovered on the eastern Ville Royaler On a great 
gravel platform some 60 feet (18 m) in height and 32 
acres (13 ha) in area, Darius I constructed an architec- 

tural complex comprising two units: one residential, 
his palace, in the south, and one official, an apadana, 
in the north. Both are oriented north-south. To the 
east of the palace he built a monumental gate, oriented 
east-west, that led to the compound or esplanade. 

The monumental gate, 130 by 100 feet (40 X 30 m), 
consisted of a central hall with four columns — the 
passageway — flanked by two rectangular rooms, each 
of which had a spiral stairway that led to a second story 
or to the roof. An inscription on the columns reveals 
that Darius built the gate. It was here at the interior 
southwestern flank of the passage, facing the palace, 
that a fragmented, over-life-size statue of Darius I was 
found in situ (fig. 50, p. 220, and see No. 153). 6 

The apadana, 358 feet square (109 X 109 m), is the 
northernmost structure on the esplanade; its entrance 
is at the south, facing the nearby palace, from which it 
is separated by a court. It consists of a large hall 190 
feet square (58 X 58 m) containing thirty-six columns, 
flanked on its four corners by towers and on its three 
long sides by columned porticoes, each with two rows 
of six columns. Four of the column bases bear an 
inscription of Artaxerxes II (A2Sa) recording that the 
apadana was built by Darius I, burned in the reign of 
Artaxerxes I (465-425 B.C.), and restored by him. 
Except for the absence of a great stairway for the main 
entry, the apadana's square plan is similar to that of 
the apadana at Persepolis, planned by Darius; how- 
ever, it is unlike that of the earlier, rectangular col- 
umned hall at Pasargadae ("Palace P"). 

The palace, to the south, was also constructed by 
Darius I, as is indicated by inscriptions on clay and 
stone tablets and glazed bricks found in or near the 
structure; some of these call the building a hadish 
(DSf) or a tachara (DSd), both Old Persian words for 
palace. 7 Its plan, incorporating a series of contiguous 
courts and surrounding rooms, is unique within 
Achaemenid architecture, for it is modeled after ear- 
lier Assyrian and Babylonian palaces. 8 Larger than 


Achaemenid Art and Architecture \ 217 

800 by 500 feet (246 x 155 m) and occupying about 
three times the area of the apadana, the palace consists 
of an entry gate and passageway at the east that lead to 
a large court (cour est). To the west of this court are 
three others aligned east-west, each surrounded by 
rooms. That the palace had interior brick stairways is 
indicated by the nature of the decorative bricks 

Artaxerxes IPs structures consist of a large com- 
plex, including an apadana, where wooden columns 
(as opposed to the stone columns in Darius Ps 
apadana)? stood on stone bases, and a palace. They 
were built less than a quarter mile (350 m) to the west 
of the Darius buildings, across the Shaur River. 10 Here 
were recovered inscriptions on column bases (none 
found in situ), one of which mentions the hadish built 
by the king. 11 There is no certain evidence that Arta- 
xerxes II built other structures at Susa. 12 

Another matter is worth noting. No domestic 
buildings of the kind that must have housed the many 
courtiers and their dependents were recovered at the 
site, nor were houses or ateliers of local workers or 
artisans. If these existed on the mound, they have been 
obliterated by subsequent building and clearing. 

Although the Darius statue and fragments of other 
stone sculpture in the round (see No. 153) were recov- 
ered on the Apadana mound, no stone reliefs derive 
from there. Stone reliefs were discovered elsewhere on 
the tell, in the Donjon area, where they had been 
reused as filling in a later, Sasanian building. They 
depict guards carrying spears, Persian servants 
mounting stairs (one of whom carries on his shoulder a 
tray with a duck's -head projection), a head of a servant, 
a griffin, a winged lion, and plinths. ^ Their original 
location remains unknown and poses a complex ques- 
tion, but some of the reliefs must have come from a 
structure that had a stone stairway. 

Artaxerxes IPs apadana also contained stone re- 
liefs, none recovered in situ. Parts that remain show a 
Persian servant walking up stairs carrying a tray with 
a duck's-head projection, part of a Mede servant (also 
mounting stairs), a head of a servant, fragments of 
guards carrying spears, and a plinth.^ Some of these 
reliefs of guards, servants, and plinth parallel those 
from the Donjon. The Shaur finds indicate that the 
apadana of Artaxerxes II was embellished with repre- 
sentations in stone of servants and guards and that 
stone stairways existed here; 1 ^ at Persepolis the Coun- 
cil Hall gateway and the palaces of Darius I and Xerxes 
had servants represented (see fig. 53, p. 237), but their 
apadana did not. 

Decorated bricks that are glazed (enameled) and 
plain, molded in relief and flat, were recovered on the 
Apadana mound. All derive from within or near the 
palace, none from the apadana. 16 Figured glazed 
bricks are recorded as coming from the area of the east 
gate (depicting guards); the cour est (winged bulls, 
guards, perhaps lions passant); the cour centrale 
(sphinxes); the cour interieure (griffins); and the cour 
ouest (griffins, winged bulls, guards). 1 ? Other bricks, a 
number with floral and geometric designs, were found 
scattered over the mound. 

Glazed bricks (I am not sure whether any are 
in relief) were also excavated in Artaxerxes IPs apa- 
dana; one published brick preserves part of a guard's 
clothing. 18 At Babylon, the Achaemenid structure 
yielded glazed bricks both flat and in relief, depicting 
guards similar to those at Susa, as well as floral and 
geometric patterns. 1 9 Persepolis produced fewer glazed 
bricks than Susa. Flat glazed bricks bearing inscrip- 
tions and floral patterns, but none with human figures, 
survived in the apadana and Council Hall. 20 It will 
never be known whether glazed bricks adorned walls 
extensively at Persepolis or whether the relative pau- 
city of remains reflects a limited use of them there. 21 

The archaeological evidence suggests that only the 
palace of Darius, not the apadana, was embellished 
with panels and scenes of plain and glazed brick and 
had brick, not stone, stairways. Nevertheless, a num- 
ber of scholars posit that the apadana was likewise 
decorated. 22 While this assertion cannot be demon- 
strated, neither can it be denied: Artaxerxes IPs 
apadana contained reliefs of glazed brick and stone, as 
did the apadana of Darius I and Xerxes at Persepolis. 

The glazed bricks at Susa continued a manufactur- 
ing and decorative tradition at the site that began in the 
Middle Elamite period (twelfth century B.C.) and re- 
appeared in the Neo-Elamite period (eighth to seventh 
century b. c). The composition in all periods consisted 
of a conglomerate of sand and chalk, a brique siliceuse. 
The same composition is found in the glazed bricks 
used in the Achaemenid structure at Babylon, 
where bricks in relief had previously been made of 
terracotta. 2 3 

Regarding the chronology of the glazed bricks, we 
may cite the inscriptions on them of Darius I as well as 
the inscriptions at Susa mentioning Darius Ps building 
of an apadana and a hadish (A2Sa, XSa). The Arta- 
xerxes II inscription mentioned above that records the 
rebuilding of Darius Ps apadana (A2Sa) was taken by 
Roman Ghirshman to mean that the palace was burned 
and was rebuilt. Consequently he concluded that the 

218 Susa in the Achaemenid Period 

bricks date to the time of Artaxerxes II. 2 ^ Other 
scholars, however, believe that some or most of the 
bricks, especially the guards in relief, date to the time 
of Darius I. 2 ^ Other bricks depicting servants and 
additional guard series may be later, but it is difficult 
to determine chronology on the basis of style alone. 26 



1. Carter and Stolper, 1984, p. 55; Miroschedji, 1985, pp. 276ft 

2. While it is unclear just when Darius began work at Susa, it has 
been argued by some scholars, on the basis of the style of the 
glazed brick guards, that it was before he founded Persepolis. If 
I am correct that a glazed brick fragment from Susa actually 
represents a local copy of the Bisitun relief (see No. 153, n. 14, 
and fig. 53, p. 237), it would (as E de Miroschedji has called to 
my attention) be a valuable clue dating the Susa complex to 
521/520, some years before Darius began work at Persepolis. 

3. There are four inscriptions of Xerxes (486-465 B.C.) : XSa, on a 
column base that refers to the hadish (palace) built by his 
father, Darius I; XSb, on a column base that is preserved 
primarily in Akkadian and where Scheil (1929b, no. 25) re- 
stores the word for "palace" in both the Akkadian and Old 
Persian versions; XSc, on tablets that Kent (1953, pp. 113-14, 
152) restores as referring to a hadish built by Xerxes; and XSd, 
on the monumental gateway column bases, mentioning that 
Darius built it (Vallat, 1974). I am not convinced, however, that 
restorations justify the interpretation that Xerxes built at Susa. 
The same problem exists^ (for me) with the assumed Darius II 
(424-404 B.C.) texts from Susa (D2Sa, D2Sb, on column 
bases). In D2Sa the word apadana is restored and stone col- 
umns are mentioned; however, only the name Darius occurs: 
must this be Darius II, as Roland Kent believes ("The Recently 
Published Old Persian Inscriptions/' JAOS 51 [1931], pp. 226- 
27, and "Old Persian Texts," JNES 1 [1942], pp. 422-23), or can 
it be a reference to Darius Ys apadana? (Schmidt, 1953, p. 34, 
calls this inscription "controversial.",) D2Sb (assigned to 
Xerxes by Scheil, 1929b, no. 25) is restored to state that Arta- 
xerxes I built a hadish at Susa. Finally, an inscription of 
Artaxerxes III in Akkadian (Scheil, 1929b, no. 30) refers to 
constructing the rear part of a building, which is unidentified. 

4. E.g., Ghirshman, 1964, pp. 142ft; Vallat, 1974, pp. 177-78; 
Farkas, 1974, p. 77; Stronach, 1985, p. 435; Amiet, 1988b, pp. 

5. For a review of the remains, see J. Perrot, 1981; Boucharlat, 

6. Kervran, 1972. Vallat (1974, p. 178) and Perrot and Ladiray 
(1974, p. 51) believe that Xerxes' inscription (XSd) on the 
column bases indicates that he completed the construction 
started by his father. But could he not have added the inscrip- 
tion to a completed building? 

7. Schmidt, 1953, p. 30; Stronach, 1985, pp. 433ft; Vallat, 1979, 
p. 148. 

8. Mecquenem, 1938a, p. 321; Amiet, 1974b; J. Perrot, 1981, pp. 
93-94; Porada, 1985, p. 806. 

9. I am not sure that Stronach is correct in his conclusion (1985, 
pp. 433 ff. and n. 9) that only columned halls with stone col- 
umns were considered to be apadanas by the Achaemenid 
kings. Thus Stronach (p. 434) denies that term to the columned 
hall of Artaxerxes II, which has stone bases and wooden col- 
umns but is of the same plan as the apadanas with stone 
columns at Susa and Persepolis. He also believes that Artaxer- 
xes II called his columned hall a hadish (A2S4 Another in- 
scription of Artaxerxes II recovered out of its original context in 
the Shaur complex, and also broken, refers to his hadish (dupli- 
cating A2Cd; Vallat, 1979, p. 146); but there is no compelling 
reason whatsoever to assume that these inscriptions refer to the 
columned hall specifically, and not to the other structures 
(Batiment II, III) with their neighboring gardens. The fact that 
D2Sa and A2Hb (which Herzfeld said he found at Hamadan) 
mention apadanas with stone columns need not signify that all 
apadanas were so equipped, only, I would suggest, that the use 
of stone was worthy of special mention. The French excavators 
of the Shaur palace call the complex a palace; and Kent, 1953, 
unfortunately always translates the words hadish, tachara, and 
apadana as "palace." 

10. Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972; 'Boucharlat and Labrousse, 

1 979- 

11. Vallat, 1979/ P- 

12. Boucharlat and Labrousse (1979, p. 55), Stronach (1985, p. 434), 
and Calmeyer (1987, p. 577) refer to other palaces of Artaxerxes 
II, but the texts they cite, A2Sd and A2SC, do not to my mind 
indicate such a conclusion. A2SC could be the Shaur palace. 

13. Mecquenem, 1947, figs. 22, 23, 52:8, 9, 53:9, 10, pi. 6; Amiet, 
1988b, fig. 82. Roaf (1983, p. 149 n. 182, no. 3) assigns to Susa a 
relief in Berlin of a servant carrying a tray with a duck's-head 
terminal, giving no reason (although perhaps because of the 
stone) ; this type of tray, I believe, signifies a Susian origin (see 
No. 165). Roaf dates the reliefs to Artaxerxes II, 

14. Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972, pp. 84-85, fig. 43, pi. 34; 
Boucharlat and Labrousse, 1979, pp. 60-61, fig. 23, pi. 9a. 

15 . It is of course assumed that the reliefs were not displaced from 
elsewhere — from Batiment II or III. 

16. See Jequier in Morgan, 1900c, pp. 79-80. See also Schmidt, 
1953, p. 36 — but he thought some bricks with floral and geo- 
metric patterns were recovered "in the debris" of the apadana, 
which Jequier did not claim. A number of bricks were published 
without a locus. 

17. Proveniences are revealed by a close reading of M. Dieulafoy, 
1893, pp. 24711., 276, 280 ff., 424, fig. 265; and of Mecquenem, 
1938a, pp. 321-24, and 1947, pp. 31, 47ff., 50, 52, 54, 58, 64, 70. 
See also J. Perrot, 1981, pp. 88-89. 

18. Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972, pp. 83-84, fig. 19. 

19. Haerinck, 1973, pp. n8ff., fig. 3a, pi. 56. 

20. Schmidt, 1953, pp. 70 ff., 77-78, figs. 35, 42c. 

21. Frankfort (1954, p. 267 n. 93) suggests that at Persepolis stone 
was used for reliefs in the way that brick functioned at Susa. 

22. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, pp. 285ft, pis. 14, 15; Schmidt, 1953, p. 36; 
Ghirshman, 1964, p. 140; Haerinck, 1973, p. 123 n. 65; Farkas, 
x 974/ P- 39; Calmeyer, 1987, p. 574; see Annie Caubet, pp. 
224-25 in this volume. 

23. Haerinck, 1973, pp. n8ff. He is unsure (p. 119 n. 51) whether 
there is a direct continuity of manufacturing technique from 
the Middle Elamite to the Achaemenid period — because DSf 
mentions that it was from Ionia that the ornamentation was 
brought. DSf only mentions wall decoration (Kent, 1953, p. 

Sculpture | 219 

144), but this could refer to the glazed bricks (see also Mec- 
quenem, 1947, p. 95). Farkas (1974/ pp. 41-42) suggests an 
Iranian origin. Like Susa, Babylon had both glazed brick and 
stone relief friezes (Haerinck, 1973, p. 129; Seidl, 1976, pp. 125 
H- n. 4). 

24. Ghirshman, 1964, pp. 140, 142; see also Perrot and Chipiez, 
1890, p. 763. 

25. E.g., Schmidt, 1953, p. 32; Farkas, 1974, pp. 3911.; Calmeyer, 
1987, p. 574; idem, in AMI 14 (1981}, pp. 41ft, and 15 (1982), p. 
125; Stronach, 1978, p. 96. See note 2, above. 

26. The precise dating of the nonrelief, smaller- scale glazed bricks 
from Susa and Babylon depicting guards (No. 160) or servants 
(Nos. 164, 166, 168) remains a problem. Scholars date them to 
either Darius I or Artaxerxes II; for summaries of opinion and 
interpretation, see Haerinck (1973, pp. 128-29), Amelie Kuhrt 
in The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 4 (Cambridge, Eng., 

1988), p. 115 n. 16, and idem, in Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg 
and Amelie Kuhrt, eds., Achaemenid History IV (Leiden, 
1990), p. 181. It is perhaps significant that a guard at Babylon 
has the same pattern on his clothing as the guards from Susa 
(see nn. 18, 19, and No. 160), a pattern similar to that on a 
guard's clothing from Artaxerxes H's Shaur complex (Labrousse 
and Boucharlat, 1972, p. 84, fig. 19:1). The latter example could 
then date the others to the time of Artaxerxes II, but it could 
also be interpreted as having been copied by that king's artisans 
from earlier examples. The date of all the Apadana mound 
bricks need not be the same as that of the structure they 
adorned, and it is possible that they date to the time of Arta- 
xerxes II. Note that Artaxerxes II's apadana also contained 
unique wall paintings (Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972, p. 83, 
fig. 42). 


153 Fragment of a royal head 


H. io s /s in. (27 cm); w. 11 in. (28 cm) 
Achaemenid period, late 6th-early $th century B.C. 
Apadana; Sb 6734 
Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The fragmentary condition of this dark limestone 
head belies its importance. What remains are the 
mouth and parts of the nose and beard, executed in 
the round, probably from a representation of a royal 
man, not a human-headed creature (see No. 157). 
The statue to which the head belonged would have 
been almost ten feet (3 m) tall. 1 The fragment de- 
rives from the Apadana mound, where four other 
large fragments of sculpture in the round depicting 
humans were also found. 2 These are of light lime- 
stone; one fragment is part of a shoe, and the three 
others are parts of clothing. Fortunately the clothing 
fragments bear inscriptions, one of which states that 
the work carrying it is a statue commissioned by 
Darius I (DSn). 

The significance of the five fragments — that they 
represent at least two or more large statues in the 
round — was not fully appreciated by scholars, most 
of whom cited only the head or only (parentheti- 
cally) the other fragments. 3 The fragments' impor- 
tance was not recognized even when the headless 


inscribed Egyptian granite statue of Darius I was 
discovered in 1972 at the exterior southwestern flank 
of the Darius gate on the Apadana mound (fig. 50). 4 
Although the excavators postulated that a second 
Darius statue must have existed at the northern end 
of the passage and others at the east, they did not 
cite the sculpture fragments. 5 It was even claimed 


that the Darius statue was the sole example of a 
sculpture in the round of a human being known in 
the Achaemenid period. 6 

Margaret C. Root, the first scholar to discuss the 
fragments in some detail as representative of more 
than one piece of sculpture, correctly noted that the 

Figure 50. Statue of Darius I from the gate. Apadana mound, Susa, 
Achaemenid period, ca. 522-486 B.C. Egyptian granite, H. 983^ in. 
(250 cm). Teheran, Iran Bastan Museum 

dark stone head had to be dealt with separately from 
the other, light stone fragments. 7 She concluded that 
it came from a statue originally about three meters 
in height. 8 Because the shoe has buttons, a feature 
never found on royal footwear, Root assigned it to a 
statue of a hero grasping a lion, a theme represented 
in relief on Darius I's palace at Persepolis, on seals, 
and apparently in a small statue in the round from 
Persepolis. 9 The two other fragments known to her 
(see note 2) she assigned to one or two royal statues, 
but accepts one of them as possibly belonging to the 
hero. Thus, she posited either two, three, or four 
statues in the round represented by the fragments. 
Puzzlingly, she did not discuss the fragments to- 
gether with the Darius I statue but treated the latter 
separately, presumably because they are of different 
stone. 10 

In 1983, Heinz Luschey presented an important 
and a more detailed study. 11 He suggested that the 
head fragment was from a second statue of Darius I, 
for while its proportions matched those of the 
known Darius statue, its stone composition was dif- 
ferent. He postulated that the two statues had 
formed a pair and that the second statue had stood at 
the northern flank of the gate. 12 With Root, Luschey 
assigned the shoe to a hero grasping a lion; he 
added to it one of the clothing fragments. At first he 
assigned the other two fragments to a third statue of 
Darius I, but in a postscript he mentioned that they 
derived from two separate statues. He thus con- 
cluded that the fragments represented at least four 
separate statues, x 3 which would mean that fragments 
of at least five large statues in the round, including 
the Darius I statue, have been recovered at Susa. 

The head fragment is from a large statue of a 
king, probably Darius I (or Xerxes?). We do not 
know if it once flanked the granite statue at the 
Darius I gate, but that is not an improbable conclu- 
sion (see note 12). As for the four associated frag- 
ments, they represent at least two statues — one, 
probably a hero, associated with the shoe, and an- 
other of Darius I (or Xerxes?) — or possibly a hero 
and three other statues. This means that there was 
a total of three or four statues of Darius I (and/or 
Xerxes?) and one of a hero in the Achaemenid com- 
plex at Susa. 1 * Where these statues were situated is 
of course not known, but it remains a viable possi- 
bility that four royal statues were indeed placed at 
the four door jambs of the monumental gate. 


Sculpture \ 221 

1. The head was first published by Scheil, 1929b, p. 57, pi. 13; 
see also Mecquenem, 1938a, p. 324; idem, 1947, p- 47/ pi. 
5:3. Scheil and Mecquenem thought it was the head of a 
lamassu (composite animal); so did J. Perrot (see Luschey, 
1983, p. 193). For its size, see Parrot, 1967b, p. 249; Root, 
1979, p. 111; Luschey, 1983, p. 195; Azarpay 1987, pp. 187, 
fig. 3, 189. 

2. Scheil (1929b, pp. 57-58, pi. 13) knew of four fragments; 
Luschey (1983, p. 194) found a fifth in the Louvre. No spe- 
cific locus on the Apadana mound is recorded. Scheil's text 
seems to suggest that these fragments were found together, 
but this cannot be asserted. Schmidt (1953, p. 31) says they 
came from the hadish but gives no evidence. 

3. See Luschey, 1983, p. 195 n. 12, for references; also Mec- 
quenem, 1938a, p. 324; Ghirshman, 1964, p. 140; Parrot, 
1967b, p. 249; Stronach, 1972, pp. 245-46; Farkas, 1974, p. 
45 n. 65a. 

4. Kervran, 1972; Stronach, 1972; Perrot and Ladiray, 1974. 

5. Kervran, 1972, p. 239; Perrot and Ladiray, 1974, p. 44; 
J. Perrot, 1981, p. 86. 

6. Luschey, 1983, p. 193, quoting J. Perrot, who believed that 
the head discussed here belonged to a lamassu, which he re- 
stored to the western, outer passage of the Darius I gate; 
Perrot and Ladiray, 1974, pp. 49-50, fig. 17; see also Scheil, 
1929b, p. 57, and Mecquenem, 1947, p. 47. 

7. Root, 1979, pp. noff. 

8. On page 111 she says it is from a statue, on page 112 that it 
could be from a human-headed bull capital. 

9. Schmidt, 1953, pi. 147; idem, 1957, pis. 17, Pt. 5:1, 35:1; 
Walser, 1980, fig. 107; Root, 1979, p. 113 n. 214. The exam- 
ple in Ghirshman, 1964, fig. 295, is a modern forgery. The 
hero does not represent the king (Hinz, 1969, p. 74 n. 33; 
von Gall, 1972, p. 267 n. 32). 

10. Root, 1979, pp. 68f£. 

11. Superseding an earlier study in AMI, Erganzungsband 6 

(1979)/ PP- 20 7-V- 

12. Luschey, 1983, pp. 197-98, fig. 4. Luschey (pp. 201-2) be- 
lieves that Xerxes brought the Darius I statue from Egypt to 
Susa, where it and its postulated mate occupied a secondary 
position at the gate; see also Vallat, 1974, p. 168, and J. Per- 
rot, 1981, p. 86. Porada (1985, p. 818) suggests that another 
statue of Darius was left in Egypt. Calmeyer (1976, p. 83, C 
5 i) has ingeniously suggested (with cogent parallels, ibid., 
pp. 79ff.) that the second statue could have represented 
Xerxes, as co-regent with his father. This remains a strong 
possibility, albeit one not possible to demonstrate. 

13. Luschey, 1983, pp. 198-99, 204, fig. 5. This was also one of 
Root's possible conclusions (1979, pp. 111, 113), not noted by 
Luschey. Although Luschey originally placed the hero and 
his Darius statue III at the outer, eastern passage of the gate, 
on p. 204 he admitted problems in assigning the five statues 
to a specific placement. 

14. For textual and other evidence for the existence of Achae- 
menid statuary, see Root, 1979, pp. 125-26. Stronach 's short 
list of extant Achaemenid sculpture (1972, p. 246 n. 16) is 
not short enough: he cites as genuine two small sculptures 
that are modern forgeries (Ghirshman, 1964, fig. 295, and 
Parrot, 1967b, pis. 13, 14). 

Canby (1979, pp. 3i7ff., figs. 1,3) reconstructs a glazed 
brick from Susa that shows part of a human figure, seem- 
ingly with its leg raised, as a hero stabbing a griffin. I think 

this is incorrect: on the stone reliefs the hero's leg is shown 
straight (Walser, 1980, figs. 90-96; Roaf, 1974, p. 97/ n g- 
not curved as on the brick; and on the reliefs the griffin's 
claws do not extend above the bare knee. If the brick depicts 
a hero, he would be one grasping a lion (pace Canby, 1979, p- 
320), like the one postulated in stone by Root and Luschey. 
This hero's leg is not straight, and the lion's body is placed 
against the hero's lower thigh and knee. However, Canby's al- 
ternate reconstruction, that of a triumphant king standing on 
an enemy as represented at Bisitun, is viable. In that case the 
brick relief would be a local copy of the Bisitun relief and in- 
scription: we know versions of it were set up in various parts 
of the empire, and one copy has been recovered at Babylon 
(Seidl, 1976, pi. 34; Porada, 1985, p. 811). If this 
interpretation is correct, it furnishes valuable information 
supporting a dating of the construction of Susa close to 
521/520 B.C. 

154 Lion weight 


H. 11V4 in. (30 cm); L. 20 7 /s in. (53 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 6th-/ century B.C. 
Acropole, temple area; Sb ijiS 
Excavated by Morgan, February 1901. 

Cast in bronze is a recumbent lion on a rectangular 
plinth, with a heavy loop handle on its back. This is 
a typically Achaemenid lion with hair rendered in 
regular rows of tufts that cover the back, sides, and 
chest, and curve around the shoulder; " wings'' at the 
sides; a raised ruff; thick swellings under the eyes 
and depicting the muzzle; "figure-eight" thigh mus- 
culature; and a "tulip" pattern on the legs. The lion 
weighs 267 pounds (121 kg), or, in the units used in 
the ancient Near East, about 4 talents. It was recov- 
ered in the fill of the Ville Royale. 1 

In the 1840s, at Nimrud in Iraq, A. H. Layard 
excavated a group of sixteen bronze lions, each re- 
cumbent on a plinth and with a loop at the top; they 
vary in length from 1 to almost 12 inches (2.5-30 
cm). Some bear inscriptions in cuneiform and/or 
Aramaic of late-eighth- and seventh-century As- 
syrian kings that include the amount of the weight. 2 
Thus, the objects are manifestly weights. A similar, 
Assyrian bronze lion on a plinth with a top loop was 
recovered, also in the 1840s, at Khorsabad in Iraq. 
That example was fastened to a pavement by a pin 
on its underside and seems to have been a weight 
that was reused in some other function. It weighs 
134 pounds (61 kg), half the weight of this piece. 3 
Still another lion weight with a plinth and a loop, in- 
scribed in Aramaic with its weight (68 pounds, or 31 



kg) — about one-quarter that of the Susa and one- 
half that of the Khorsabad example — probably de- 
rived from the Troad in northwestern Turkey. 4 Its 
style suggests that it is Achaemenid. 

On this evidence it seems clear that the Susa lion 
is a weighty one that continued a tradition estab- 
lished in eighth-century Assyria. Its date is not pre- 
cisely established within the Achaemenid period. 6 


1. Lampre, 1905, pp. 1 71 ff. , pi. 9; Ghirshman, 1964, fig. 318; 
Porada, 1965, pp. 162-63, pi* 46; Amiet, 1988b, fig. 84; 
Braun-Holzinger, 1984, p. 112, pi. 73, no. 386. 

2. Layard, 1852, vol. 1, p. 119; idem, 1853, p. 601 , with chart 
opposite. Weights range from about 2 ounces to about 40 
pounds; British Museum, A Guide to the Babylonian and 
Assyrian Antiquities (London, 1922), pp. 170-71, with fig- 
ure; Lampre, 1905, pp. 174-75; Braun-Holzinger, 1984, pp. 
111-12, pi. 72. 

3. Frankfort, 1954, pi. 115; Mitchell, 1973, pp. 173-74, n. 10. 
Braun-Holzinger, 1984, p. 112, pi. 73, no. 384. 

4. Mitchell, 1973, pis. 1, 2; Braun-Holzinger, 1984, p. 112, Taf. 
73^ no. 385. 

5. It would weigh 4 talents, the Khorsabad weight 2 talents, the 
Troad weight 1 talent. Corrosion has caused a loss of weight, 
which accounts for the imprecise proportions. 

6. Porada (1965, pi. 46) and Mitchell (1973, p. 174 n. 13) give a 
5th-century date. 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration 

ihe Persian palace complex at Susa was constructed 
earlier than the one at Persepolis and is clearly distin- 
guished from it by its decoration. Because stone is 
scarce in the Susiana plain, the palace walls were faced 
with decorated brick, in accordance with a Mesopota- 
mian tradition that had been known and used at Susa 
since the Middle Elamite period (see No. 88). 

The brick decoration, along with the overall orga- 
nization and stonework of the palace, has been exam- 
ined in studies by Marcel Dieulafoy (1893), M. L. 
Pillet (1914), Roland de Mecquenem (1947), and lastly, 
Audran Labrousse (1972), whose work provided much 
of the information contained in this essay. More re- 
cently, a physical chemistry research program inves- 
tigating artifacts made of vitreous materials 1 has an- 
alyzed the colorants of selected glazes employed in the 
brick decoration and has revealed certain technical 
features peculiar to the Achaemenid workshops of 
Susa (see also the Conservation Report below, pp. 


Persian brick decoration at Susa can be divided into , 
two broad categories: relief decoration made from un- 
colored clay bricks cast in molds, and colored decora- 
tion made from siliceous bricks with colored glazes. In 
the second category there are again two types : glazed 
bricks with designs in relief, and those with flat sur- 
faces where the design is rendered solely by the colors. 

Clay Bricks 

Clay brick, the standard material for wall construction 
throughout the ancient Near East, was used at Susa 
to create several decorative panels and friezes. Each 
molded brick carried a relief on one side that was part of 
a larger design extending across a number of courses of 
brick. The bricks were not glazed. The clay from which 
they are made is of exceptional quality, very pure and 

with a temper, perhaps a lime mortar, that is invisible 
to the naked eye. 2 This mixture permitted modeling of 
great delicacy. The only subjects represented in this 
relatively small series, or group of bricks thought to 
come from the same frieze, are mythological animals 
such as winged bulls and griffins and striding lions, 
motifs also rendered in glazed brick. 

Exceptionally, some of the clay bricks were given a 
colored glaze. They have either geometrical motifs, 
which probably belonged to the borders of friezes, or 
elements of Persian dress, as seen on the frieze of 
archers (guards). It is possible that these bricks were 
"repair" pieces made to match missing or broken pieces 
they replaced in the larger series of siliceous brick. 

Glazed Siliceous Bricks 

By far the greatest quantity of polychrome decoration 
at Susa was made of siliceous brick, which has a non- 
plastic composition with a base of sand and lime. Each 
brick was shaped (with or without a relief decoration) 
in a mold and fired up to three times. The first firing of 
the body produced what potters today call a biscuit. In 
the second firing, the enamel cloisons, or partitions, of 
the design were fixed. The Persian craftsmen of Susa 
had in fact developed a technique of "cloisonne"; they 
outlined the designs with threads of thick glaze, creat- 
ing separate compartments to contain the different 
colored enamels. They set the bricks edgewise, deco- 
rated side up, to apply these glazes, as we know from 
traces of color that dripped down the wide undecorated 
sides of the brick. Then came a final refiring. 

Analysis of samples of different glaze colors by 
X-ray diffraction shows the glaze to be a siliceous 
preparation that occurs as a vitreous fluid, colored by 
the addition of various oxides: lead-antimony for the 
yellows, copper for the blue-greens, ferrous man- 



ganese for blacks and browns, and tin to make the glaze 
opaque and produce white. Mixtures of oxides yielded 
variations in the intensity of the hues, although the 
chromatic range remained fairly narrow. A few exam- 
ples from one limited series include bright blue, ob- 
tained by the addition of cobalt. Remarkably, true red 
is absent. Red never appears in Susian faience or glass- 
work, even though it was known to Assyrian and 
Egyptian glassmakers and was frequently used in mu- 
ral paintings in both Mesopotamia and Susa. 

The glazed bricks are of quite uniform dimensions, 
generally 3-Vs inches (8.5 cm) high and 13 inches (33 
cm) long. They are slightly wedge-shaped, narrowing 
toward the back to allow the decorated faces to be fit 
together more easily. Square tiles, about 13 by 13 by 4 
inches (33 X 33 X 10 cm), were probably used to adorn 
stairways and door and window sills (No. 159). They 
usually carry stylized foliage motifs, although there 
are some fragments with mythological subjects as 
well, like the ones with horned lions heads (No. 158). 

Iconography and Placemen] of Glazed 
Brick Panels 

Almost all the decorated bricks were recovered in later 
levels, where they had been reused haphazardly. How 
the different decorative elements fit into overall de- 
signs on monuments can only be conjectured. How- 
ever, it has been possible to reconstruct some frieze 
elements and isolated panels. 

In some cases, an identical iconography appears on 
both glazed siliceous bricks in relief and unglazed clay 
bricks. The subjects are winged bulls and griffins 
represented as on earlier friezes at the palace of Baby- 
lon, in profile, striding in a repeating procession. The 
few fragments of a winged bull that were found in a 
courtyard permitted the reconstruction of only a sin- 
gle examples The griffins 4 were also found in a court- 
yard, but there were enough fragments to reconstruct 
two panels. 

The frieze of roaring lions s was found, still intact, 
where it had fallen: at the foot of the north wall of the 
eastern court of the palace. Its bricks, unlike those 
from most of the other friezes, had not been reused at a 
later date. Labrousse 6 shows that the frieze must have 
decorated the upper part of that wall, which was a 
series of wide pylons separated by narrow recesses 
where staffs or poles were placed. The lions all moved 
toward the center of the composition, where a door was 

surmounted by a trilingual inscription, also in colored 

Finally, the most celebrated decoration and also the 
one with the greatest number of fragments is the frieze 
of archers (guards; Nos. 155, 156), whose elements 
were found scattered or reused in later constructions. 
The modern restoration took the arrangement of the 
lion frieze as a model, but the frieze of archers should 
probably be restored in two or more superposed regis- 
ters. The archers, who are shown in left or right 
profile, must also have converged toward a central 
element bearing a trilingual inscription. Rather than a 
flat surface, the frieze probably adorned a facade of 
projecting pilasters alternating with recessed niches, a 
traditional method of decoration in the Near East. This 
explains why some of the bricks, the corner pieces, 
were glazed on two sides. 

All these friezes had non-figurative designs that 
framed the figural scenes, although we do not know at 
what height on the wall these borders were placed. 
Bricks in the shape of merlons, or elements with step- 
shaped tops, indicate that some walls were faced with 
glazed bricks all the way up to the coping. 

In addition to friezes, the monumental decoration 
included isolated panels, like the series of confronted 
sphinxes under a winged sun disk (No. 157). These 
glazed panels probably adorned pilasters, window re- 
cesses, or lunettes above windows or doors. Fragments 
of the bases of colonettes also survive, glazed and 
decorated in relief, that might have framed doors, 
windows, or niches. Finally, some fragments probably 
came from stairways. 

As at Persepolis, the terrace on which the Susa 
palace complex stood must have been reached by a 
monumental stairway of which nothing remains but 
some pieces of decoration reused in later buildings. On 
most of these the design appears only in colored glaze 
in cloisonne. However, some of them show the same 
technique of relief combined with glaze as the friezes 
described above, but with the figures on a smaller 
scale. The motifs are similar to those on the stone 
stairways at Persepolis: crenellated battlements deco- 
rated with rosettes and palmettes, spirals, oblique 
bands of daisies, and bull-and-lion combats on the 
angles of the parapets. ? 

Again as in Persepolis, processions of servants were 
placed on the stairway (fig. 51). Fragments that remain 
(Nos. 163, 164, and 168) are decorated in a delicate 
style and in a range of colors slightly different from 
that of the series described above: the cloisonne line is 
darker and the skin is rendered in a pinkish brown. The 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration | 225 

figures are on a smaller scale than the archers, nine 
rows of bricks high instead of seventeen. 8 

Judging from the decoration of the square tiles, 
glazed in the cloisonne technique without relief work, 
it seems probable that they too adorned a stairway or 
pavement. One exceptional tile shows a band of lion's 
heads (No. 158), but the other designs are limited to 
stylized vegetal motifs. In a separate category are the 
'marbled" tiles: they were made of a siliceous paste 
colored yellow, brown, and white, then mixed in the 
mold to create the appearance on the surface of veined 
stone. This technique, which is related to the frit 
technique, produced a relatively porous, fragile mate- 
rial that probably was not intended to be exposed to the 
open air. 9 

Unglazed Siliceous Bricks in Relief 

Some siliceous bricks did not receive a colored glaze. 
This small series includes pieces in a variety of sizes, 
such as flat bricks with the relief on the edge (No. 165) 
and tiles 6V 4 inches square (17 X 17 X 11 cm), half the 
length of a standard brick. The relief work on these 

bricks is extremely delicate and precise because its 
contours are not blurred by the addition of a layer of 
glaze. There are a few fragments of this type repre- 
senting servants, personages wearing Persian tunics 
and boots, and large animals (the muzzle of a bull). We 
do not know the provenience of these pieces, but icon- 
ographically they are very similar to the decoration of 
the stone stairway at Persepolis, suggesting that they 
too adorned a stairway parapet. 

annie caubet 


1. Jointly undertaken by the Departement des Antiquites Orien- 
tates of the Louvre, the Research Laboratory of the Musees de 
France, and Dr. A. Kaczmarczyk. 

2. Bigot, 1913, p. 275. 

3. Sb 3329; Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 64-67, fig. 37. 

4. Sb 3323, Sb 3326; M. Dieulafoy, 1893, p. 310, pi. 11; Mec- 
quenem, 1947, pp. 70-72, fig. 39. 

5. M. Dieulafoy 1893, p. 275, fig. 152, pi. 3; idem, 1913, p. it; 
Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 54-55/ fig. 30. 

6. Labrousse, 1972, pp. 128-35. 

7. Mecquenem, 1947, p. 83, fig. 52:7. 

8. Labrousse, 1972, p. 138. 

9. Sb 3382; Mecquenem, 1947, p. 35, fig. 15. 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration | 227 

155, Guards 

156 Siliceous brick, decoration in relief; glazed brown, 
pale green, yellow, white, with gray-black outlines 
H. 79 Vs in. (201 cm); w. (each) lyVs in. (69 cm); 
D. yA in. (9 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th century B.C. 
Apadana, eastern door of the palace; 
Sb 3302 (No. 255), Sb 3309 (No. 156) 

These two glazed relief brick panels depict bearded 
guards shown in profile facing left, each armed with 
a long spear and a bow with its quiver. The spear 
butt is a ball with a triangle in relief and rests on 
the forward left foot (note the arch of the rear right 
foot) ; the upper end of the bow terminates in a 
duck's head, and tassels are pendant from the quiver. 
Earrings and penannular (not always clear) gold 
bracelets are worn, and around the head is a braided 
fillet. The long, loose garments are richly decorated 
in relief, with patterns of rosettes on Number 156 
and tower motifs on Number 155, and with borders 
of concentric circles or lotus flowers framed by tri- 
angles. 1 The quiver surface has a pattern of pairs of 
ovals that might represent animal skin. 

Each figure is seventeen bricks in height (cf. No. 
160), with the upper tip of the bow extending to the 
eighteenth (the lower tip appears from between the 
sleeves below the quiver on the guards moving left) ; 
the shaft and blade of the spear extend two or more 
bricks over the head. 2 The colors are quite vivid. The 
skin is dark (brown), one of the two conventional 
skin colors used for guards at Susa (see Nos. 160, 

l62). 3 

The bricks constituting the guard panels were re- 
covered scattered in the area around the entrance to 
the palace in the western part of the cour est A At 
least eighteen guards have been successfully re- 
stored, and isolated bricks with parts of others exist. 
While it is manifest that the guards face to the left 
and right, not known is the original number of 
guards exhibited, where and how they were situated 
in or near the entrance, and whether guards with 
clothing of one pattern were grouped together or al- 
ternated with those wearing another pattern. 

Persian guards on the stone reliefs at Persepolis 
are shown in single file approaching each other or 
approaching and flanking an inscription; and guards 
dressed exactly like the examples shown here (except 
lacking a bow and quiver) are arranged in two tiers 
and all moving in the same direction. 5 The Persepo- 
lis reliefs suggest possible ways that the Susa brick 

Figure 52. Royal guards on stone reliefs from Persepolis. Eastern 
stairway of the apadana, Achaemenid period, reign of Darius I, 
ca. 522-486 B.C. 

guards may have been placed. Since glazed bricks 
bearing an inscription of Darius I were recovered 
with the guards, who face left and right, restorers 
have thought that at least some guards flanked this 
inscription; 6 whether other guards were in a tier 
above cannot be known (see above, pp. 224-25). 
Guards facing both left and right were also repre- 
sented on flat glazed bricks at Susa (see No. 160), but 
there too we do not know how they were arranged. 7 

The ethnic identity of these guards is an unre- 
solved issue. From the time of Dieulafoys publica- 
tion in 1893, some scholars have interpreted the 
guards as units of the Ten Thousand, elite troops of 
Persians mentioned by Herodotus (vii.41); one thou- 
sand of those troops had gold spear butts and the 
other nine thousand, silver ones. Because butts on 
the Susa bricks are glazed white, the guards are to 
be recognized as units of the nine thousand, accord- 
ing to this interpretation. 8 If they are part of the 
Ten Thousand — an identification that remains 


speculative — they would be Persian troops, not 
Elamite, and indeed in all features including shoes, 
and only excepting the fillet, they wear Persian 
clothing. 9 However, because of the fillet, which is a 
distinctive item of Elamite dress (see fig. 52), and 
the bows ending in a duck's head, also an Elamite 
feature, it has been argued that the Susa guards are 
local Elamite troops. 10 On the other hand, differing 
scholars have cogently noted that identified Elamites 
always wear boots, not Persian shoes, and for this 
reason have rejected an Elamite attribution. 11 The 
association here of the Elamite fillet with the Persian 
shoe needs to be explained before a secure identifica- 
tion can be made. 12 


1. A third pattern of quatrefoils may also have existed as re- 
stored by M. Dieulafoy (1893, pi. 6); see Mecquenem, 1947, 
fig. 26:6 (in relief?)- The only other place where the tower 
motif occurs is on a tapestry from Pazyryk: see Lerner, 
1991, pp. 10-11, fig. 10. 

2. M. Dieulafoy (1893, fig. 154) restores it high over the head, 
up to the twenty- fourth brick; Mecquenem (1947, fig. 25) 
restores it to the twenty-first brick; the Louvre examples 
have been restored to the nineteenth brick. Azarpay, 1987, 
pp. 193-94; figs. 6 and 7 illustrate Dieulafoy's reconstruc- 
tion, and the upper tip of the bow is misplaced. Spearheads 
extending high over the bearers' heads may be seen at Bi- 
situn and Persepolis: Ghirshman, 1964, fig. 283; Schmidt, 
1953, pis. 50, 51, 58, 59. 

3. M. Dieulafoy (1893, pp. 27ft., 44, 55, 60, io8ff.) believed 
that the Elamites were a mixed race, including Negritos (as- 
sociated with Asian, not African, blacks) and white-skinned 
peoples. He thought the dark-skinned guards were Negritos, 
and also restored a glazed relief of white-skinned guards 
(pi. 7) for which the evidence was some nineteen bricks, 
some of which must, however, have represented white- 
skinned servants (p. 430 and fig. 286). He also believed that 
Elamites represented on the Assyrian reliefs are clearly iden- 
tifiable as Negritos, an assertion that is manifestly incorrect. 

4. Mecquenem, 1938a, p. 324; idem, 1947, pp. 31-32. 

5. Schmidt, 1953, pis. 17, 22, 23, 25, 50, 51, 58, 59, 62, 63, 
100-102. In pi. 58 the "Elamite" guards wear bracelets; in 
pis. 30 and 51 they do not. 

6. Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 25, where the position of the two 
right-facing guards is an interpretation. M. Dieulafoy (1893, 
pi. 15) restored them over the apadana entrance, although 
there is no evidence for that placement and in fact the guards' 
findspot contradicts their being in the apadana. 

7. For stone reliefs depicting guards from the Donjon area and 
the complex of Artaxerxes II at Susa, see Mecquenem, 1947, 
pi. 6:1, 2, fig. 23; Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972, pi. 34:1, 
possibly 2, fig. 43:3, 4. 

8. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, p. 291; Haerinck, 1973, p. 123 n. 65; 
von Gall, 1972, p. 270; cf. Mecquenem, 1947, p. 53. 

9. In general, Persian dress was the same as Elamite (except for 
the shoe problem, below). Hinz, 1969, p. 70; von Gall, 1972, 

p. 265; Miroschedji, 1985, pp. 299-300; Calmeyer, 1988, 
pp. 27-28, 31, figs. 11, 12. 

10. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, pp. 28, 280 ff.; Hinz, 1969, pp. 67, 
70, 79, 80, 92; Porada, 1965, pp. i5iff., pi. 42. See also 
Calmeyer, 1988, p. 31. 

11. Von Gall, 1972, pp. 264, 270; Calmeyer, 1988, pp. 33 n. 38, 
47. They also reject an Elamite attribution for the guards at 
Persepolis who are dressed like those at Susa. Von Gall be- 
lieves that they are a Persian tribe. 

12. Root (1979, pp. 76 n. 98, 85 n. 123) suggests that the guards 
might have represented specific historical individuals because 
the name Otanes seems to have been mentioned in the brick 
inscriptions (see M. Dieulafoy, 1893, P- 28 4)- F° r tne guards' 
chronology, see above, pp. 218-19 nn. 2, 25. 

157 Confronting sphinxes 

Siliceous brick with decoration in relief; glazed 
brown, light green, yellow, white, with gray-black 

H. 4yV 4 in. (120 cm); w. 46 in. (117 cm); D. 2 in. 
(5 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-early $th century B.C. 
Apadana, central court of the palace; Sb 3324 
Excavated by Mecquenem, 1911. 

On this panel, two winged lions with human 
heads — that is, sphinxes — confront each other but 
with their heads turned backward. They have multi- 
tiered squared beards and short bull's ears with 
pendant earrings, and they wear tall cylindrical 
headdresses. The headdress has a rear ridged guard 
and is topped by what may be feathers, with a floral 
petal above and a row of circles below; three horns 
reinforce the sphinxes' otherworldly nature. Only 
the tips of the tails are visible, protruding from the 
right thigh of the left sphinx and the left thigh of 
the right one. This indicates lateral rotation; the 
sphinxes are not mirror images. Above them is a 
sun disk of typical Achaemenid form. 1 

Bricks making up the sphinxes and sun disks of 
several panels were recovered in the northeastern 
corner of the cour centrale. 2 The winged sun disks 
were restored to fit directly above the sphinxes, and 
although there is no proof that this was the original 
placements it is a viable reconstruction, as parallel 
representations suggest (see below). Four such panels 
have been reconstructed, and other isolated bricks 
indicate that originally there were more. Each panel 
consists of ten rows of bricks for the lions and four 
for the sun disks. The glazing on the sides of the 
end bricks shows that the panels were not placed 
flush with walls as a continuous frieze but rather 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration \ 229 


set into projecting pilasters, niches, or recessed 

Heraldic seated lions and sphinxes are common 
motifs in Achaemenid art. A number are repre- 
sented in stone reliefs at Persepolis, in the apadana, 
the Council Hall, and the palaces of Darius I and 
Xerxes. ^ All have the beard, bull's ears with ear- 
rings, and cylindrical headdress with an ornament at 
the top seen on this brick relief; some lack the band 
of circles (which may originally have been painted). 
These sphinxes, like the ones from Susa, have heads 
that share the features of royal human heads (see 
No. 153) and the headdress of the bull-man gate 
guardians. ^ However, the Persepolis sphinxes all face 
each other, having one raised paw and full tails, and 
flank (rather than sit under) either a sun disk, an 
Ahura Mazda figure, or a blank space (perhaps orig- 
inally for an inscription). 

Achaemenid seals also depict heraldic seated 
sphinxes facing each other with one paw raised, 
sometimes with an ornament at the top of the 
headdress and sometimes beneath a sun disk. 6 
Achaemenid gold plaques from Sardis in Lydia show 
the same combinations of motifs as do the seals/ 
and an unprovenienced gold plaque representing a 
winged, human-headed bull-sphinx 8 with back- 
turned head has the same beard structure, ears (but 
without earrings), and cylindrical headdress, lacking 
only the upright petal at the top. This plaque might 
very well have been made in the reign of Darius I 
or Xerxes. 


1. See Roaf, 1983, pp. 133^./ fig- 138. 

2. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 58-59, fig. 32; J. Perrot, 1981, pi. 
36:6. The cour centrale is C2 of Mecquenem, 1947, Plan 2. 

3. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 58, 60. M. Dieulafoy (1893, PP- 3°5~6, 
fig. 184), published a glazed brick fragment with a bearded 
head that could belong to a royal personage, a sphinx, or a 
lamassu. He also cited another brick with part of a wing pre- 
served (p. 308, fig. 187), which he interpreted as an Ahura 
Mazda form and restored on the apadana (pi. 14). These 
pieces deserve better publication. 

4. Schmidt, 1953, pis. 22, 63, 127, 169; also Mecquenem, 1947, 
pp. 63-64, 83, fig. 52:11. 

5. Schmidt, 1953, pis. 9, 11. 

6. E.g., Pope, 1938, vol. 7, pi. 123 :k; Boardman, 1970, pis. 1, 5; 
Legrain, 1925, pis. 56:888-91, 58:953, 59:954. 

7. C. Densmore Curtis, Sardis, vol. 13, pt. 1 (Rome, 1925), 
pi. i, no. 1. 

8. Vanden Berghe, 1959, p. 109, pi. 135 :c. 

158 Tile with lion's heads 

Siliceous brick; glazed brown, yellow, light green, 
white, with gray-black outlines 

h. 14V8 in. (36 cm); w. 12% in. (31 cm); d. y/s in. (8 cm) 
Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 
Apadana, east of the palace; Sb 3336 
Excavated by Mecquenem, March 1914. 

This flat, glazed plaque or tile was recovered to the 
east of the palace on the Apadana mound, where it 
had apparently been reused; part of the surface has 
been accurately restored. 1 

The preserved uppermost panel displays two 
isolated lion-griffin heads depicted in classic 
Achaemenid style. The snarling mouths with non- 
protruding tongues are naturalistically rendered; 
more fantasied is the presence of bull's horns and 
ears and a thickly rendered mane with ends termi- 
nating in concentric circles, perhaps to indicate curls. 
Below the heads, and also in the lowermost zone pre- 
served, are rows of concentric circles set between op- 
posed triangles; they frame a frieze of joined lotus 
flowers and palmettes. The lotus and palmette motif 
is a common Achaemenid design 2 that, along with 
opposed triangles, appears on many objects recov- 
ered at Susa. Also characteristically Achaemenid are 
the lion-griffin and the use of isolated heads. 

Heads of horned lion-griffins, beneficent crea- 
tures, appear as terminals on throne seats, on col- 
umn capitals, and on seals. 3 Sometimes the lions 
have caprid's horns as they do on a glazed panel 
from Susa, 4 on gold plaques,^ and as protomes and 
handles on silver vessels. There are also full-bodied 
horned lion-griffins with eagle's claws that must 
be malevolent, since they are shown being killed by 
a hero. 6 

The best-known examples of isolated heads are 
those found on gold bracteates; they have flaring 
manes terminating in circles, lion's ears, and no 
horns. 7 Isolated lion's heads of the same form are 
found on a stamp seal from Ur and on another, with 
four heads one above the other, in Oxford. 8 The type 
is also depicted in modified wolflike character on 
the well-known felt hanging from Pazyryk in the 
Altai Mountains, which reflects an Achaemenid 
background. 9 

It has been suggested that this isolated head mo- 
tif derives from nomadic cultures, perhaps from 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration | 231 

Central Asia/ but the earliest occurrences known 
to date are the Achaemenid examples discussed here, 


1. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 79-80, fig. 48; see also Toscanne, 
1916, pp. 70 ff., fig. 1 (shown unrestored) ; Kantor, 1957/ 
p. fig. 7; Amiet, 1988b, fig. 76. 

2. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 80-81, figs. 50, 51; Toscanne, 1916, 
pp. 79 ff. 

3. Toscanne, 1916, p. 74, figs. 11, 13; Ghirshman, 1964, 

p. 215, fig. 263; Walser, 1980, figs. 119, 120, 123; Board- 
man, 1970, pi. 1:4, 8. 

4. Mecquenem, 1947, p. 70, fig. 39. 

5. Ghirshman, 1964, p. 266, fig. 327. 

6. Schmidt, 1953, pis. 145, 196. 

7. Kantor, 1957, pp. 8ff., pis. 4 right, 6:B; Lerner, 1991, fig. 8; 
Schmandt-Besserat, 1978, p. 70, no. 79. None has been exca- 
vated by archaeologists. 

8. Kantor, 1957, p. 9, fig. 5: a; Moorey, 1978, p. 144, fig. 4. 

9. Kantor, 1957, p. 10, fig. 6; Lerner, 1991, pp. 8-9, fig. 7. 
10. Kantor, 1957, pp. 10-11. 

159 Tile with a rosette 

Siliceous brick; glazed brown, light green, yellow, 
white, with gray-black outlines 
H. 14V8 in. (36.5 cm); W. ijVs in. (34 cm); D. 3V2 in. 
(8.8 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 

This flat tile is decorated with a central sixteen - 
petaled rosette flanked on all sides by a row of 
different-colored triangles ; the four short sides are 
plain but glazed. 1 Its findspot was not recorded, nor 
whether other examples like it were recognized, 
but many flat glazed tiles, some quite similar to 
this one, have been recovered, some south of the 
apadana in the area where the palace was later 
found. 2 One of these tiles has a central sixteen - 
petaled rosette and three small rosettes on one short 
side but lacks framing triangles; another is the same 
but is framed by triangles only on three sides; and 
another form has two half-rosettes per tile, with the 
other halves completed on neighboring sections. 3 
There are also standard-sized bricks that have an 
ornamentation of glazed rosettes. 4 

Both Dieulafoy and Mecquenem interpreted 
these tiles as stairway decorations — a correct inter- 
pretation if the published reconstructions are accu- 
rate in depicting bricks with oblique triangles on the 
stairways. ^ The tile shown here and those with ro- 
settes on one short side would then have been the 



topmost elements of merlons. Brick and stone reliefs 
from Susa depicting servants mounting stairs (see 
Nos. 161-167 and fig. 51, p. 225) indicate the exis- 
tence of both stone and brick stairways; these deco- 
rated tiles would point to yet another brick-decorated 

Glazed bricks decorated with rosettes of sixteen 
petals also occur at Persepolis, 6 and in the earlier 
palace of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon.? Twelve- 
petaled rosettes are one of the most common 
forms of border decoration on the stone reliefs at 


1. See Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 78-79, fig. 47:1; Perrot and Chi- 
piez, 1890, p. 537, fig. 344. 

2. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, p. 297. 

3. Ibid., p. 301, fig. 176, pis. 7, 10, fig. 173; Schmandt-Besserat, 
1978, p. 62, no. 69. 

4. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, pis. 8, 9, figs. 174, 175, 177; Mecque- 
nem, 1947, fig. 43. 

5. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, pi. 8. Schmidt, 1953, p. 32, and 
Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972, p. 85, accept the restora- 
tion as a stairway. 

6. Schmidt, 1953, p. 91, fig. 35. 

7. Mecquenem, 1947, figs. 61 , 62. Note the same use of glazed 
rosette bricks on a facade at Carchemish: C. Leonard Woolley 
and R. D. Barnett, Carchemish, pt. 3 (London, 1952), fron- 
tispiece, p. 169. 

160 Hand in sleeved garment 

Siliceous brick; glazed cobalt blue, yellow, white, 
with black outlines 

H. 2V2 in. (6.3 cm); w. 4V4 in. (12 cm); D. 3% in. 
(8 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th- 5th century B.C. 
Sb 14229 

This fragment of a flat glazed brick preserves the left 
arm and sleeve of a figure moving left; on the wrist 
is a penannular bracelet that may have animal-head 
terminals. 1 The arm is white and the garment is yel- 
low, the sleeve undecorated except for rows of circles 
on the blue borders. A whitish triangular section 
above the left arm may be part of the extended right 
arm. The cobalt blue color was also common at 
Babylon. 2 If the panel were completely restored to 
its original height, it would be an estimated nine 
bricks high. 3 

This brick is one of two published fragments 
from the same frieze. The other, depicting a figure 
moving right and carrying a spear, which by an art- 
ist's oversight does not pass through the hand, is a 
mate in all details to this figure. 4 The two bricks 
were part of a frieze of two or more guards facing 
each other. Another, complete, glazed brick (in re- 
lief) from Susa shows a guard with a penannular 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration | 233 

bracelet carrying a spear, but he wears clothing or- 
namented differently, with triangles and circle pat- 
terns, that precisely matches the garment worn by a 
guard on a glazed brick from Babylon. 5 

Both series of guards are distinguished from the 
better-preserved relief guards (Nos. 155, 156) by 
clothing, skin color, ornamentation, scale, and posi- 
tion of the extended arm holding the spear. 6 Obvi- 
ously they were placed in different areas of the 
palace. Mecquenem reported that flat glazed brick 
panels of " spearmen of the guard'' were recovered in 
the cour ouest of the palace; 7 surely he must have 
been referring either to his figure 27:1 or to this 
fragment and its mate. 


1. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 5if,f., fig. 26:17; Schmandt-Besserat, 
1978/ p. 61, center left; Canby 1979, p. 316, no. 2. 

2. Haerinck, 1973, p. 120, for colors employed at Babylon. 

3. Information from Annie Caubet. 

4. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 51 ff., fig. 26:16, published upside 

5. Ibid., pp. 5off., fig. 27:1, pp. 53-54, fig. 29; Haerinck, 1973, 
pp. 121, 123, fig. 3:a, b. Compare a similar garment on a 
guard from Artaxerxes II's Shaur complex (Labrousse and 
Boucharlat, 1972, p. 84, fig. 19:1). 

6. Canby (1979, p. 316) doubts that the present figure and its 
mate are guards, a conclusion rejected here. 

7. Mecquenem, 1938a, p. 323; his court hi on fig. 75; idem, 
1 947/ P- 54- 

161 Head with turban 

Siliceous brick, decoration in relief; glazed pinkish 
brown and white, with gray-black outlines and hair 
H. y/s in. (8 cm); w. 5 1 //? in. (13 cm); D. 3 in. (7.5 cm) 
Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 
Sb 186 S3 

This fragment of a brick depicts in relief the head of 
a person facing right. He wears a wound turban that 
covers the top of his head, passes down the side, and, 
as we know from other examples, wraps around the 
chin just below the mouth. Curls of hair are ex- 
posed at the forehead along the edge of the turban, 
and enough of the upper lip survives to show that 
there is no mustache. The top of the brick is extant; 
the bottom is broken away, but the preserved height 
suggests that little is missing. 

Two comparable bricks from Susa have been pub- 
lished. One, not in relief, is also a fragment of a 
glazed turbaned head facing left. 1 The other is a 
complete, unglazed relief brick that belongs to a se- 
ries of bricks forming a frieze of Persian servants 
mounting stairs (see No. 165)^ It shows part of a 
head, without a mustache, wearing a turban that 
crosses the chin. On both examples there are ends of 
hair at the forehead edge of the turban. 



The head shown here is surely that of a Persian 
servant, as indicated by the form of the turban and 
the absence of a mustache (see No. 167 for a possi- 
ble Mede servant). At Susa two almost completely 
preserved Persian figures on stone reliefs, who are 
certainly servants because they carry trays, wear the 
same turban and have no mustache. 3 Two other very 
similar stone reliefs from Susa that preserve only 
the head also have the turban and lack a mustache; 4 
they too are clearly Persian servants. At Persepolis 
all the Persian servants wear the same kind of tur- 
ban, and half of them are unbearded. 5 

Servants were also depicted in glazed brick in the 
Achaemenid structure at Babylon; on one of the 
fragmented bricks, which preserves the lower part of 
a figure's nose and mouth, it can be seen that there 
is no mustache and that the chin is covered by the 
turban. 6 

At Susa, then, there were several friezes of ser- 
vants carrying food: in stone at Artaxerxes IPs com- 
plex and the Donjon, and in glazed bricks (Nos. 161, 
164, 167) and plain relief bricks (No. 165), all pre- 
sumably from Darius Ps palace. 


1. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 52, 86, fig. 27:2; Canby, 1979, p. 316, 
no. 1. 

2. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 84-85, fig. 53:1; nos. 2-7 are the 
other servant figures. Mecquenem thought fig. 53:1 was a fe- 
male, ignoring the evidence of other servants and the fact that 
females are not represented in major Achaemenid art. On 
the possibility that the servants are eunuchs, see Roaf, 1974, 
p. 96; idem, 1983, p. 115; see also Peter Calmeyer in Heleen 
Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Amelie Kuhrt, eds., Achaemenid 
History IV (Leiden, 1990), p. 13 n. 17, and ibid., VI (Leiden, 
1991), p. 289. 

3. From Artaxerxes IFs complex and the Donjon: Labrousse and 
Boucharlat, 1972, fig. 43:2, pi. 34:4; Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 
53:10, pi. 6:5. 

4. Amiet, 1988b, fig. 82; Boucharlat and Labrousse, 1979, p. 60, 
fig. 23, pi. 191a. Artaxerxes IFs columned hall was also deco- 
rated with paintings; one is a head with an odd turban that 
the excavators compare to Delegation VII on the apadana at 
Persepolis: Labrousse and Boucharlat, 1972, p. 83, fig. 42:2. 

5. Roaf, 1974, pp. 96-97, fig. e; Schmidt, 1953, p. 240 and pis. 
82, 85, 86, 132-35, 161, 163, 165, 168-72, 185-87. 

6. Haerinck, 1973, p. 127, pi. 56, top. Haerinck, following Kol- 
dewey (1931, p. 122, pi. 39 :b), calls the chin band a mustache. 

162 Head in right profile 

Siliceous brick, decoration in relief; glazed pink, light 
blue, black, yellow, with blue-black outlines 
H. yA in. (9 cm); w. 4 3 /s in. (11 cm); D. 2V4 in. 
(7 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 
Sb 9510 

163 Head in right profile 

Siliceous brick, decoration in relief; glazed brown, 
light green, yellow, with gray-black outlines 
H. jVs in. (8.5 cm); w. f/s in. (13 cm); D. }Vs in. 
(8 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 
Sb 14228 

Both brick fragments are in relief and glazed, and 
both preserve just the forepart of the face, including 
the eyes and nose but not the mouth. 1 The face of 
Number 163 is brown; on Number 162 the face is 
cream pink. 

Although the faces are very similar in size and 
facial form, the outlines of their noses differ. This 
and the color distinction indicate that the two heads 
belonged to separate scenes. 

The only other human figures at Susa with dark 
skin (cf. No. 157) are those in the large relief frieze 
of guards (Nos. 155, 156). However, Number 163 
clearly does not belong with them. On the guards, 
the nose terminates at the base of the brick and the 
beard is molded on the brick below, 2 which is not the 
case here. 

Number 162 could be a guard or a servant, since 
examples from both these categories are represented 
with white skin at Susa (see Nos. 161, 164, 165). 3 

Because both finds are small fragments, without 
specific loci, it is best to avoid specific interpretations. 


1. Schmandt-Besserat, 1978, p. 61, upper center. 

2. Also, it seems that the right end of the brick is closer to the 
nose than on Number 163. 

3. For another published brick fragment of a white face — 
perhaps with a mustache — see M. Dieulafoy, 1893, p. 430, 
fig. 286. For one from Babylon, see Koldewey 1931, Taf. 
39: a; Haerinck, 1973, pi. 561a. Koldewey calls it a female 
(p. 122). 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration | 235 

164 Hand 

Siliceous brick; glazed pink and yellow, with black 

H. i 7 A in. (4.7 cm); w. 4V4 in. (10. 7 cm); D. 3 m. 
(7.5 cm J 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 
Sb 14232 

Preserved on this flat (non-relief) brick fragment is a 
hand, glazed white, with a solid bracelet in yellow. 1 
The positions of the thumb and smallest finger iden- 
tify it as the right hand of a person facing right. 
From this angle, however, one might expect the 
bracelet to display open ends terminating in animal 
heads, like those on Number 165; on the stone re- 
liefs only the servants have solid, closed bracelets. 2 
A dark line extending the pinkie may be all that 
remains of an object — perhaps a knob — held be- 
tween the thumb and pinkie. If so, we may interpret 
the hand as belonging to a servant who performs the 
same duties as the one in Number 165 (although 
this figure is from a different banquet procession). 
In these two cases the fingers are arranged differ- 
ently, but in both examples fingers not normally em- 
ployed for the task are used to hold objects. The 
delicacy of the finger positions might reflect an eti- 
quette expected of those serving the king. 3 


1. Schmandt-Besserat, 1978, p. 61 , middle center; Canby, 1979, 
p. 317, no. 4. 

2. Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 53:10; Labrousse and Boucharlat, 
1972, fig. 43:2. 

3. The hand cannot belong to a woman, as females are not repre- 
sented in monumental Achaemenid art. 



165 Hand holding a vessel 

Unglazed siliceous brick, decoration in relief 
H. y/s in. (8.5 cm); w. ijVs in. (34 cm) 
Achaemenid period, late Sth-^th century B.C. 
Sb 3344 

This standard-sized unglazed siliceous brick is 
shaped in relief to represent part of a human torso; 
the body would have been completed on neighboring 
bricks. The right hand holds between the thumb and 
two fingers (cf. No. 164) what appears to be the 
knob of a vessel. On the wrist is a typical 
Achaemenid bracelet with open animal-headed ter- 
minals. The end of a pendant from a headdress 
hangs at the figure's back. 1 

The torso is that of a Persian servant — identi- 
fiable as Persian by the clothing and the turban with 
a pendant, typically Persian, and identifiable as a 
servant because he carries an object (see Nos. 164, 
167). z Other unglazed relief bricks recovered are 
clearly part of the same scene: a Persian servant's 
head, a live sheep (see also No. 167), and several 
segments showing Persian servants' clothing, one 
of which reveals that the figure was mounting 
a stairway. 3 

Thus, represented on unglazed relief bricks was a 
procession of servants mounting a brick stairway, ap- 

parently not the same stairway as the one decorated 
with tiles with rosettes and other floral and geomet- 
ric motifs (No. 159). Furthermore, other groups of 
servants were represented in both glazed relief and 
flat bricks at Susa, and some of these are mounting 
stairs (see Nos. 161, 165, 167). These glazed and 
unglazed brick representations of servants mounting 
a stairway duplicate the scenes executed for stone 
stairways on the Donjon reliefs (whose original 
locus remains unknown), in Artaxerxes II's col- 
umned hall across the Shaur, and, extensively, in the 
palaces at Persepolis (fig. 53). 4 

It is noteworthy that, like the one on Number 
164, this servant wears a bracelet (cf. No. 167), and 
that the vessel has a knob by which it is held. A 
closed bracelet is apparently worn by the Persian 
servant on a stone relief from the Donjon mentioned 
above, but no servant on the Persepolis reliefs wears 
one, to my knowledge. ^ And while small lidded 
vessels are carried on the Persepolis reliefs, they 
are flatter than the Susa example and do not have 
knobs. 6 On those reliefs the servant sometimes cov- 
ers the vessel with his hand to steady it. 

There are other minor differences between the 
objects carried by servants at Susa and at Persepolis. 
For instance, servants on the stone reliefs from the 
Donjon and Artaxerxes' columned hall carry trays 
on their shoulders that have a reversed duck's head at 


Achaemenid Brick Decoration | 237 

Figure 53. Servants on stone reliefs from Persepolis. Palace of Darius I, Achaemenid period, reign of Darius I, ca. 522-486 B.C. 

one end. At Persepolis no trays are carried, although 
an actual stone tray with a reversed duck's head at 
one end was excavated there. 7 


1. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 84-85, fig. 53:2. 

2. E.g., Roaf, 1974, pp. 98-99, fig. e; idem, 1983, pi. 43a, b. 

3. Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 53:1-8. The findspot has not been 
published for any of these. 

4. Ibid., pi. 6:3, 5, fig. 53:9, 10; Labrousse and Boucharlat, 
1972, pi. 34:3,4, fig. 43:1,2. 

5. Bracelets are worn at Persepolis by other social groups besides 
the king: nobles, Medes, Persians, guards (as at Susa — see 
Nos. 133-56, 160), and grooms (Roaf, 1974, p. 101). Might 
the Susa servants belong to a special category of this service, 
or do we have another example of a difference between Susa 
and Persepolis? 

6. E.g., Walser, 1980, figs. 111, 112, 117. 

7. Schmidt, 1957, p. 88 and n. 78, pis. 53:5, 54:3. Roaf (1983, 

p. 149 n. 182, no. 3) assigns to Susa a relief in Berlin of a ser- 
vant carrying a tray of this type, but does not mention that it 
was the tray that determined the attribution. 


166 Head with wreath(?). 

Siliceous brick; glazed brown, light green, yellow, 
with gray outlines 

H. y/s in. (8 cm); w. y/s in. (8 cm); D. 3 in. (7.5 cm) 
Achaemenid period, late 6th- 5th century B.C. 
Sb 14428 

This fragment is both unique and tantalizing: 
unique because nothing else like it is known from 
Susa or Persepolis, tantalizing because it cannot 
readily be interpreted. The height of the flat glazed 
brick is intact, preserving the upper and lower sides 
and also one short side. 

The fragment seems to show a wreath — a 
braided band with petals — bound around an object. 
One is inclined to see the object as a head facing left, 
but no hair or ear is indicated. The ear might have 
been represented on the brick below, but the hair re- 
mains a problem. And what is represented if not a 
head? It should further be noted that wreaths, on 
heads or elsewhere, are not otherwise seen in 
Achaemenid art, which makes it even more difficult 
to understand this fragment. 

This is a good example of the kind of problem 
involved in interpreting the meaning of isolated 
bricks from Susa that were parts of large scenes and 
in determining what the original form and content 
of those scenes were. 


167 Servant carrying an animal 

Siliceous brick, in relief; glazed brown, yellow, green 
H. y/s in. (8 cm); w. y/s in. (15 cm); D. y/s in. 
(13 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-yh century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 14392 
Excavated by Dieulafoy. 

Only part of the length of this glazed relief brick is 
preserved, but enough exists to allow one to recog- 
nize the original full form of the figure depicted 
here and on the neighboring bricks : a servant facing 
left, carrying cradled in his arm a live animal, prob- 
ably a kid or lamb. Only the front legs of the ani- 
mal are extant. The servant's left hand holds the 
animal's chest, and the right hand no doubt held it at 
the neck. That the servant is mounting a stairway is 
evident from the raised position of his thigh. He 
wears an elaborately decorated garment, adorned 
with rosettes of alternating white- and dark-glazed 
petals. 1 No bracelet is worn (cf. Nos. 164, 165). 

Other bricks preserved from Susa show animals 
being carried by servants; two are published. 2 One 
is a glazed relief brick preserving only the animal's 
front legs, and another, from a different series of 
servants depicted on plain siliceous bricks (see No. 
165), preserves a sheep's head. The former may have 
been part of the same scene as Number 167, while 
Number 165 was also part of a series of servants 
mounting a brick stairway. At Persepolis there are 



Achaemenid Brick Decoration \ 239 

many examples of servants who mount stairways 
and carry live animals — sheep and deer (see fig. 53, 
p. 23 7). 3 These scenes show processions of alternating 
Persians and Medes carrying food, but it is of inter- 
est that only the Medes carry live animals. Whether 
this is significant — may Medes have played a special 
role in slaughter or sacrifice? — eludes us. 

Given these parallels, it is possible that the frag- 
ment shown here represents a Mede, assuming that 
the same details and cultural situation noted at Per- 
sepolis obtained at Susa. And if that is the case, it is 
also possible that Number 161 , the head of a Persian 
servant facing right, was part of the same scene as 
this piece, in a depiction of alternating Persians and 
Medes mounting stairways, one group mounting 
from the right, the other from the left. 


1. Mecquenem, 1947, p. 51, fig. 26:7-11, contains examples of 
brick fragments that show garments decorated with rosettes. 
They have eight petals, like the present example, but the draw- 
ings do not indicate alternating light and dark colors. If this is 
an error and the colors do indeed alternate, then the brick 
fragments could be servant's garments. The piece in fig. 26:7 
is not in relief (information from A. Caubet) ; if the others are 
also not in relief, they are clearly not from the same series as 
the present example, even if the petal colors alternate. 

2. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 52, 86, fig. 27:3; pp. 84-85, fig. 53:4. 

3. Schmidt, 1953, pis. 82, 85, 86, 133-35/ *55> 1 5^r 

163-65, 168, 171. Note that even when an animal is depicted 
walking, it has a Mede escort (pi. 187). 

168 Feet in shoes 

Siliceous brick; glazed brown, light green, yellow, 
white, with gray outlines 

H. }Vs in. (#.5 cm); w. f/s in. (25 cm); D. 3% in. 
(8 cm) 

Achaemenid period, late 6th-$th century B.C. 
Sb 14227 

The lower parts of two legs and two shoes, one over- 
lapping the other, are represented on this flat glazed 
brick, which is fully preserved in height but missing 
at least half its length. 1 There is a zigzag pattern on 
the hose or trousers of the right leg, and the right 
shoe has an ankle strap with two hanging ends. The 
left leg wears dark, monochrome hose or trousers, 
and the left shoe has three straps, each with a button 
exposed above the foot, and an extending tongue. 
The feet belong to two striding individuals, and in 
such depictions the left foot traditionally leads. 
Thus, the far foot is a rear right foot; overlapping it 
is a (forward) left foot. 2 The brick's specific findspot 
is unknown. 

Because ethnic groups are distinguished by 
clothing and footwear in ancient art, and certainly in 
Achaemenid art, we know that individuals from two 
distinct ethnic groups are represented. Furthermore, 
Achaemenid artists were consistent in their depiction 
of the shoe forms worn by kings, princes, com- 
moners, and different ethnic groups. Here the right 



shoe is worn by a Mede, the left by a Persian: Per- 
sian shoes always have three straps with buttons and 
a tongue shown,3 and the shoes of Medes always 
have an ankle strap with hanging ends. 4 

It is more difficult to determine the activities of 
the two individuals. Shoes shown overlapping are 
not uncommon on the Persepolis reliefs but are de- 
picted only with figures of the same ethnic back- 
ground, either all Persians or all Medes. 5 Although 
Persian and Mede servants often alternate on these 
reliefs, their feet never overlap; nor do those of the 
tribute bearers at Persepolis. This image is another 
example of divergence between Susa and Persepolis 
in the representation of figures (see No. 165). 

One might tentatively suggest — against the Per- 
sepolis evidence — that the two feet are part of a ser- 
vant scene in glazed brick in which the servants 
wear elaborately decorated clothing (see No. 167) or 
that the scene depicts Persian and Mede dignitaries; 
there is no evidence that tribute bearers were repre- 
sented at Susa. 6 

The zigzag pattern occurs on clothing depicted 
on glazed bricks at Susa/ but this is the only exam- 
ple on hose in Achaemenid art (although the pattern 
could have been painted on the stone reliefs at Perse- 
polis). Peter Calmeyer has cited patterned hose 
(trousers) worn by horsemen on the Pazyryk car- 
pet; 8 such hose (like our argyle socks) may have 
been more common than has been realized. 

The zigzag hose and shoe appear to be separate 
elements. Gerald Walser has argued that on the 
stone reliefs the hose and shoes of the Medes seem 
constructed from one piece of leather, and that 
there was no separate shoe; 9 our example suggests 


1. Mecquenem, 1947, p. 51, fig. 26:14; Schmandt-Besserat, 
1978; p. 61, lower right; Calmeyer, 1972-75, p. 475, fig. 3. 

2. The left foot traditionally leads, even though damage here 
prevents one's seeing the instep Stronach, 1978, p. 97; Cal- 
meyer, 1988, p. 36 n. 57. 

3. Sometimes the button projects above the straps. See Walser, 
1980, figs. 103, 104; Hinz, 1969, pi. 26, left; Mecquenem, 
1947, figs. 23, 53:8, pi. 6:2. Heroes also wear the Persian 
shoe: Hinz, loc. cit. 

4. E.g., Roaf, 1983, p. 11, fig. 4. For the shoes of a Mede and a 
Persian standing together, see Roaf's figs. 122, 123; Walser, 
1980, figs. 42, 43. For shoes, see Calmeyer, 1972-75, p. 475, 
and idem, 1988. Mede tribute bearers (Delegation I) appro- 
priately wear this shoe — but so do Delegations III, IX, XXI: 
see Walser, 1966, pi. 32, 38, 54, 56, 77. 

5. Schmidt, 1953, pis. 72: A, 73:6, 74; Roaf, 1983, pi. 47: a; 
Walser, 1980, fig. 101, 102, 109, 110, 113. 

6. Stronach (1978, p. 97) misunderstands the shoe with the zig- 
zag hose, calling it "a royal shoe/' Furthermore, a royal shoe 
is never overlapped. 

7. Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 26:10, 11. 

8. Calmeyer, 1972-75, pp. 474-75; see Ghirshman, 1964, 
fig. 467. 

9. Walser, 1966, p. 68. 

169 Parts of lions and a lion-griffin 

Unglazed brick, in relief 
Lions foot: H. ca. 12% in. (31 cm); Sb 20557 
Lions head: H. ca. ijV 4 in. (44 cm); Sb 20556 
Lion-griffin: H. ca. 41V2 in. (106 cm); Sb 20558 
Achaemenid period, late 6th-early 5th century B.C. 
(See the Conservation Report, pp. 284-85.) 

Many hundreds of unglazed relief bricks represent- 
ing animals moving to both the left and the right 
have been recovered at Susa. They all seem to have 
been reused as pavement and wall fillings in later 
structures. 1 Shown here are reconstructed panels de- 
picting a lion, a winged lion-griffin, and a lion's foot. 

Glazed brick panels of animals in relief have also 
been recovered at Susa, within the palace complex. 2 
They include striding lions and winged bulls and 
griffins and are among the most spectacular of the 
site's glazed brick decorations. Thus the same ani- 
mals appear on the glazed and the unglazed panels, 
which seem to resemble each other in all details. 


1. M. Dieulafoy, 1893, pp. 308, 312, fig. 195; Mecquenem, 

*947> PP- 57^ 6 4, 71, H- 3 1 - 

2. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 541"., 64^, 7of., figs. 30, 37, 39, pi. 8. 

169, lion's foot (restoration photograph) 

Achaemenid Brick Decoration \ 241 

The Achaemenid Tomb on the Acropole 

From the unanimous reports of Greek historians we 
know that the Persians were fond of gold and luxury 
wares, but relatively few pieces of jewelry have come 
down to us, probably because of the scarcity of tombs 
of this period. That is why the group of objects discov- 
ered by Jacques de Morgan on February 6, 1901, in an 
Achaemenid tomb on the Acropole of Susa is partic- 
ularly valuable. 1 In a plain bronze sarcophagus shaped 
like a tub was a skeleton on its back, the upper part of 
the body covered with gold jewelry and semiprecious 
stones (fig. 54). A silver bowl and two alabaster vessels 
completed the funerary furnishings. It may be posited 
from the fallen bricks found in the sarcophagus that it 
had been placed in a vaulted tomb. 

Two Aradus coins dating between 350 and 332 B.C. 
seem to indicate that the burial took place at the end of 
the Achaemenid period. 2 Unfortunately, we have no 
textual references to help us identify the corpse. Mor- 
gan surmised that it was a woman because the bones 
were small and there were no weapons in the sarcoph- 
agus; he also speculated that she was elderly because of 
the worn state of the teeth. On the other hand, the 
jewelry could well belong to a man, an hypothesis that 
is supported by visual representations and textual ref- 
erences. The Greek historian Arrian reported that the 
body of Cyrus the Great in his tomb at Pasargadae was 
covered not only with gold materials, embroidered 
clothes, and daggers but also with necklaces, bracelets, 
and pendants made of gems and gold. 3 According to 
Herodotus, 4 the ten thousand immortals who consti- 
tuted the elite soldiers of Xerxes distinguished them- 
selves not only by their bravery but also by " their vast 
quantities of gold ornaments/ 7 

The multiple jewels in the Susa tomb were un- 
doubtedly not all meant to be worn at the same time. 
In addition to the objects presented in this exhibition, 
there was also in the tomb a three-strand necklace of 
fine pearls separated at regular intervals with gold 

spacer beads inlaid with colored stones. The pearls 
were most likely imported from the Persian Gulf re- 
gion, reputed in antiquity to be the source of the finest 

The charter of the Palace of Darius (No. 190) states 
that Egyptian and Median goldsmiths, then consid- 
ered the most skilled artisans in the trade, worked on 
the decoration of the palace. Yet there were certainly 
many centers for the production of precious objects. 
On the reliefs in the apadana at Persepolis, several 
delegations can be seen bringing bracelets (the Medes, 
the Scythians, and perhaps the Sogdians) or vessels of 
silver and gold (the Lydians and the Armenians). On 
the other hand, texts from Persepolis mention Carian 
goldsmiths. It is therefore difficult to attribute the 
manufacture of these jewels to a specific region be- 
cause their style and iconographic motifs were com- 
mon all across the empire, and they were made using 
techniques that had long been mastered throughout 
the Near East. 

Indeed, by the first half of the third millennium 
B.C., goldsmiths knew enough about the properties of 
gold and gold alloys to practice the techniques of 
metal-joining; they either heated the parts that were to 
be joined to just the temperature of fusion, or used a 
copper or silver alloy that lowered the fusion point 
where the two pieces were to be joined. Thanks to 
these working methods, decoration in cloisonne and 
filigree began to appear by about 2600 B.C., as can be 
seen in the jewelry from the royal tombs of Ur. Granu- 
lation is evidenced in the second half of the third 
millennium B.C. in the treasures discovered at Troy, 
and its use was expanded in the following millennium. 
Because inlaying weapons and jewelry with colored 
materials became highly popular in the Middle King- 
dom of Egypt, Morgan considered the Dashur jewels, 
and Egyptian jewelry in general, to be the antecedents 
of Susian jewelry. However, the jewelry recently dis- 


The Achaemenid Tomb on the Acropole | 243 

Figure 54. Reconstruction of the Achaemenid tomb 
discovered on the Acropole in 1901. Watercolor 
on paper 

covered at Nimrud proves that inlays of colored stones 
were equally popular in the Assyrian court just before 
the Persian period. 

At any rate, the find of jewelry presented here 
provides us with a glimpse of the splendor of the 
Susian court and of its taste for bright colors, evident 
as well in the enameled brick decoration of its palaces. 5 



1. Other Achaemenid treasures are known. In the Vouni Palace on 
Cyprus, a treasure was found in a jar that consisted of jewelry, 
vessels, and gold and silver coins; see Gjerstad, 1937, pp. 238 no. 
292, 278, pis. 90-92. More recently David Stronach discovered a 
treasure, also contained in a jar, in one of the buildings of the 
royal gardens of Pasargadae, the ancient capital of Cyrus the 
Great: Stronach, 1978, pp. 168-77. Finally, the Oxus treasure 
remains a major reference despite its discovery under myste- 
rious circumstances, apparently in 1877; see Dalton, 1964. 

2. Morgan, 1905a, p. 57. 

3. Exp. Alex. VI, 8. 

4. VII.83. 

5. See also Morgan, 1905a. 



170 Bowl 


H. i 5 /s in. (4.3 cm); diam. yV 4 in. (18.4 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2756 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

The shape of the bowl, 1 with the convex base sepa- 
rated from the concave flaring rim by a slight shoul- 
der, is characteristic of the Achaemenid period. 
Numerous bowls of this type, in bronze, gold, or 
silver, have been excavated throughout the Persian 
empire. They are almost always decorated with a ra- 
diating floral motif with several variations. Here, on 
the inside, a lotus flower and bud garland encircles 
the omphalos. On the underside the design consists 
of forty petals, each with a median vein and a trian- 
gular tip, radiating from a sixteen-petal rosette in 
the center. A raised circular band is placed between 

these petals and the rim. A similar motif can be 
found on a silver bowl with a plain interior from the 
Oxus treasure. 2 

The shape and decoration of these Achaemenid 
bowls were inherited from the Neo-Assyrian period, 
as was their use: these were drinking bowls, as can 
clearly be seen in a painting on a fifth-century B.C. 
Lycian tomb at Karaburun, where the deceased is 
depicted reclining on a bed at a banquet with a phi- 
ale of this type in one hand. 3 The weight of this 
bowl, well over a pound (562 g), suggests that the 
bowl might have been cast. This would explain why 
the relief decoration of the exterior is not visible on 
the interior. 


1. Morgan, 1905a, p. 43, pi. 3. 

2. Dalton, 1964, no. 19, p. 9, pi. 5. 

3. Mellink, 1971/ pis. 55-56. 

The Achaemenid Tomb on the Acropole | 245 


171 Torque with lion's-head terminals 

Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and mother-of-pearl 

diam. 8 in. (20.2 cm) 

Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 

Acropole; Sb 2j6o 

Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

This torque/ probably cast in the lost-wax process, 
consists of a fluted tube, V 2 inch (1.27 cm) in diame- 
ter, in two units that fit into each other over a sec- 
tion of 1Y2 inches (3.7 cm) at the back of the neck 
and were attached by means of a pin. Each extremity 
of the torque is decorated with a lion's head and with 
the stylized representation of the forepart of the 
lion, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and colored stones. 
The head itself is executed in champleve. The muz- 
zle, jowls, and collar have lost their inlays, but some 
lapis lazuli and turquoise remain in the folds of the 
muzzle and the cheekbones; the eyes and the top of 
the head were embellished with mother-of-pearl, of 
which only highly altered fragments remain. The 
outer part of the ears was also probably inlaid. The 



cylindrical section behind the head is decorated in 
very delicate cloisonne work representing the tufts of 
the mane and is filled with small turquoise inlays. 
These cells were soldered not to the torque itself but 
to a separate thin plate of gold, which was then 
rolled and attached to the torque. 

Behind this section are three narrow bands; al- 
though they are now almost devoid of inlays, their 
decorative elements can be reconstructed on the basis 
of the bracelets that went with the torque (Nos. 172, 
173) as well as details supplied by Morgan. The first 
band had alternating lapis lazuli and turquoise tri- 
angles separated by a zigzagging line of gold; the 
second, which here retains its decoration, consists of 
alternating lapis lazuli and turquoise squares with 
concave sides and a gold stud in the center; the third 
had narrow rectangular strips of turquoise. Finally, 
there is a iY$ inch (3.5 cm) section decorated in 
champleve evoking the backbone of the animal, rep- 
resented by a straight gold line; at its end is a tear- 
shaped inlay, and on either side of it are inward- 
curving forms representing tufts of hair, inlaid alter- 
nately with lapis lazuli and turquoise. 

The lion is stylized in a manner typical of the 
portrayal of wild animals on Persian reliefs and lux- 
ury tableware; the open mouth, the parallel folds 
of the jowls and muzzle (rendered here by spots of 
color), the rounded ears pearled on the inside, and 
the mane composed of hooked triangles are all char- 
acteristic features. The same overall design, which 
consists of treating the mane in delicate cloisonne 
and the curled tufts of the backbone in champleve, is 
found on bracelets and torques from the Oxus trea- 
sure, although it should be noted that they differ 
from the Susian jewelry in the treatment of the 
head. 2 We can conclude, therefore, that this design 
was in use in different workshops. 

Darius III can be seen wearing a torque of this 
type in a mosaic depicting the Battle of Issus in the 
National Archaeological Museum in Naples. The 
statue of Ptahhotep in the Brooklyn Museum, prob- 
ably from Memphis, shows this important Egyptian 
official dressed in Persian fashion and wearing, in 
addition to his Egyptian pectoral, a Persian torque 
with ibex terminals sculpted in the round. 3 


1. Morgan, 1905a, pp. 43-48, pi. 4:1; Amiet, 1988b, p. 135, 
fig. 86. 

2. Dalton, 1964, pp. 34-35, nos. 117-19, fig. 65, pis. 17, 21. 

3. Bothmer, 1960, no. 64, pi. 6o, fig. 151. 

172, Pair of bracelets with lion's-head 
173 terminals 

Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and mother-of-pearl 
2V2 x 3 in. (6.4 x 7.7 cm) and 2V2 x 3% in. (6.3 x 7.9 

Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2761, 2762 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

These two bracelets 1 form a set with the torque (No. 
171). They are composed of smooth, solid cylindrical 
tubes, round in section, V32 inch (6 mm) in diame- 
ter, with an inward curve at the center. The tips are 
decorated like the torque, but there are fewer inlays 
and the lion's head is simplified. The lion's jowls and 
the top of its head are in turquoise, the collar in la- 
pis lazuli; judging from what remains of the single, 
highly altered inlay element of the eyes, it seems to 
have been in mother-of-pearl; the muzzle has lost its 
inlays. The mane is decorated in delicate cloisonne 
with turquoise inlays, and the backbone is treated in 
the same manner as the torque. 

A relatively large number of Achaemenid brace- 
lets have come down to us. Most of them take the 
same shape as the ones shown here, but some are 
circular. They are always penannular and are usually 
decorated with the heads or bodies of real or imagin- 
ary animals: griffins, horned lions, lions devouring 
other animals, felines, lambs, ibexes, gazelles, and 
swans. The Achaemenid bracelets revive a tradition 
that began in northern Iran at the end of the second 
millennium and became extremely popular from the 
ninth to the seventh century B.C. in Assyria and 
even more so in Luristan. 

Representations show these bracelets worn in 
pairs, one on each arm, which is how they were 
found in the sarcophagus in Susa. The archers 
(guards) on the glazed brick panels (Nos. 155, 156) 
can be seen wearing them in this fashion, as can 
Darius himself on a statue found at Susa (fig. 50, 
p. 220), his bracelets decorated with the heads of 
young bovines. 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, pp. 48-49, pi. 5:1-2; Amandry, 1958, 
pi. 97-8; Porada, 1965, p. 170, pi. 51 bottom. 

The Achaemenid Tomb on the Acropole | 247 



174 Necklace with pendants 

Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and carnelian 

L. 27/2 in. (jo cm) 

Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 

Acropole; Sb 2763 

Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

This necklace consists of round beads with longi- 
tudinal grooves inlaid with turquoise and lapis 
lazuli. In the center are four larger beads, and inter- 
spersed at regular intervals throughout are eighteen 
pendants, each with a loop linked to another loop on 
the bead. The pendants are complex in composition 
and fairly rough in execution. Each is composed of a 
hook- shaped gold sheet to which various elements 
have been soldered or fused. The upper part has a 
convex rectangular section decorated with crudely 
executed granulation, at right angles to which is a 
semicircular plate with a row of granules along the 
outer edge. Below this gold cap the pendant is 
treated in openwork created by thin strips of gold 
joined to the edges of the back plate. Inside these 
strips are triangular-shaped inlays, with convex up- 
per sides and a flat base that can be seen between the 
gold strips; the spaces are filled with a type of thick 
cement holding the inlays in place. All the pendants 
present the same pattern of inlays from top to bot- 
tom: lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, turquoise, 
lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian. 1 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, pp. 49-50, pi. 6:1. 

175 Necklace 

Gold and semiprecious stones 
L. i2 s /s in. (32 cm) 

Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2j68 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

gold setting. The arrangement of this pendant re- 
sembles that of a seventh-century B.C. Lydian gold 
jewel in the Louvre. 2 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, pi. 5:5. 

2. Akurgal, 1961, pp. 216-18, fig. 186. 

ij6 Necklace 

Gold and semiprecious stones 
l. 48V8 in. (124 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 19355 

The four-strand necklace of which this is a single 
strand is composed of four hundred gold beads and 
an equal number of barrel-shaped beads made of a 
wide variety of colored stones: turquoise, lapis la- 
zuli, emerald, agate, jasper of different hues, car- 
nelian, feldspar, flint, quartz, amethyst, hematite, 
marble, and breccia. The strands were attached at the 
back by means of a large ribbed gold bead. 1 

The technique of creating a pattern on gold beads 
by the application of rows of granules of varying 
sizes is characteristic of the Achaemenid period. 
First, one or two rows of granules were joined to a 
strip, and then the ends of the strip were united by 
the fusion of the granules to each other. This process 
was generally accomplished by exposure to heat, 
making the granules appear to be "pasted" together. 
Several beads of this type have been found at Pas- 
argadae. 2 In Susa itself, eight larger gold beads of 
this type were excavated from the grave; judging 
from their position, they seem to have been part of a 
head ornament. 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, pp. 52-54, pi. 4:2. 

2. Stronach, 1978, p. 207, fig. 88:9, pis. 155a, 159a-!). 

This necklace 1 is composed of gold beads, either 
plain barrels or granulated rings, and beads of lapis 
lazuli, carnelian, and turquoise. The oblong car- 
nelian bead and the two smaller cylindrical lapis la- 
zuli beads in the middle of the necklace have gold 
caps. Two pendants complete the ornamentation: one 
is disk-shaped and has a suspension ring carved in 
the carnelian stone; the other is semicircular and 
consists of a white translucent agate in a tubular 

The Achaemenid Tomb on the Acropole | 249 

175, 176, 174 (top to bottom) 

177 Beads 


L. io 3 /s in. (26.5 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 12070 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

Despite a careful study soon after their discovery, 
Morgan was unable to determine the function of 
these sixty-five agate beads, the two largest of which 
were found close to the neck of the skeleton (see p. 
242). Nonetheless, he regarded them as ornaments 
meant to be sewn on garments rather than as pieces 
of a necklace. 1 

Whatever their use, these beads are of the finest 
quality. Each bead was carved to make the most of 
the intrinsic decorative pattern of the white or very 
pale blue bands that characterize the different col- 
ored stones. The two largest beads, measuring 1V4 
by 3/ 4 inches (3.2 X 2.1 cm), are shaped like oval 
medallions, with a milky band separating the light 
brown center from the darker brown edge. Fourteen 



178, one earring reversed 

round beads with flat backs, approximately Ys inch 
(1 cm) in diameter, have a light-colored band setting 
off the brown, beige, black, or gray center. The 
eleven rhomboid beads, each approximately Ys inch 
(1.1 cm) in length, and the small beads — thirty- 
four round and two barrel-shaped — have a white 
band in the middle. Two striped oblong beads com- 
plete this very beautiful ensemble, which is pre- 
sented here in a purely hypothetical arrangement. 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, pp. 56-57, fig. 93, pi. 6:4-6. 

178 Pair of earrings 

Gold, lapis lazuli, and turquoise 
H. i 5 /s in. (4.1 cm); w. i 3 / 4 in. (4.4 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2764, 2765 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

The earrings 1 are in the shape of a wide, flat ring 
with an opening on the top for the closing mecha- 
nism. They are decorated in cloisonne on both sides 
with the same motif, which is divided into two con- 
centric circles. The inner circle consists of quad- 
rangular sections — alternately inlaid with lapis 
lazuli and turquoise — which have concave sides and 

gold studs in the center; 2 between these sections are 
oval turquoise inlays. The outer circle is composed 
of petals, each with two smaller petals at the base. 
Every other large petal is in lapis lazuli with the 
twin petals in turquoise; the pattern is reversed for 
the ones in between. Along the inner circle of the 
earring is a thin gold band with a row of small gran- 
ules on either side. The closing mechanism is a gold 
pin fixed to a hinge on one side with a movable cot- 
ter pin on the other. 

This type of earring is typical of the Achae- 
menid period. It can be seen pictured on reliefs in 
Susa and Persepolis, and several examples have sur- 
vived. Those excavated at Deve Hiiyiik are made of 
simple metal sheets decorated with lobes and wire 
spirals. 3 Other Achaemenid earrings are in more 
precious materials : openwork examples inlaid with 
colored paste or equipped with pendants (such as 
those found at Pasargadae);4 or cloisonne examples 
using semiprecious stones. 5 The closing mechanism 
is generally the same as the one seen here. 


See Morgan, 1905a, pp. 50-51, fig. 78, pi. 5:3-4. 

On the torque (No. 171), one of the bands behind the lion's 

mane bears this decorative motif. Hence it is possible that 

these earrings are part of the same set. 

Moorey, 1980, p. 82, fig. 13:300. 

Stronach, 1978, p. 201, fig. 85:1-3, pis. 148-50. 

Muscarella, 1974a, no. 156. 

The Achaemenid Tomb on the Acropole \ 251 

179, one button reversed 

179 Pair of buttons 

Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and carnelian 
Each, diam. V 4 in. (2,1 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 2j66 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

Found close to each other on the left side of the skel- 
eton's chest (see p. 242), these small buttons 1 are 
decorated on the convex side in cloisonne. A loop is 
soldered or fused to the reverse side, and granulation 
embellishes the rim. The decoration consists of six 
similar circles, five on the edge and one in the center. 
These have a turquoise ground and a schematic de- 
sign on the upper part perhaps depicting a human 
figure above a crescent of lapis lazuli. The figure, 
shown wearing a tiara and with one hand raised, is 
cut in gold foil and is attached to a folded gold strip 
that is in turn soldered or fused to the gold ground. 
Between the circles on the rim side are lapis lazuli 
triangles on a turquoise background, and carnelian 
fills the spaces near the center. 

The spacer beads of the fine pearl necklace found 
in the sarcophagus of Susa present the same design 
motif, which also appears on other Achaemenid jew- 
elry 2 and on seals. The figure may represent a lunar 
divinity or — more plausibly — Ahura Mazda, the 
supreme god of the Persians, who is assumed to be 

the deity depicted emerging from a winged disk on 
reliefs and in glyptic. 

A button of this type, executed in the same 
manner but with a floral motif, was excavated at 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, p. 51, fig. 79, pi. 4:2-3; Amiet, 1988b, 
p. 136, fig. 87. 

2. Kantor, 1957, pp. 14-18, pi. 6: A; Muscarella, 1974a, no. 156. 

3. Stronach, 1978, p. 205, fig. 87:2. 

180 Alabastron 


H. 8V 4 in. (21 cm); diam. y/s in. (9.1 cm) 
Achaemenid period, 4th century B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 524 
Excavated by Morgan, 1901. 

Vessels made of stone were highly valued in the 
Achaemenid court, and many such objects have been 
excavated in the capitals of the empire, particularly 
at Susa and at Persepolis. They are carved in a wide 
variety of stones, the most common being serpen- 
tine, limestone, and alabaster. Several of them bear 
royal inscriptions. 

This Susian tomb contained two uninscribed ala- 
bastra of a type that was widespread throughout the 
Near East during the Neo-Babylonian and Persian 
periods. 1 Their characteristic form — a more or less 
elongated ovoid body with two lug handles and a 
wide horizontal lip — is of Egyptian origin. These 
vases were most likely meant for ointments or other 
cosmetic products. On the reliefs at Persepolis, royal 
attendants are represented holding a receptacle of 
this type in one hand and a towel in the other. 


1. See Morgan, 1905a, p. 42, fig. 68. 


Cuneiform Texts from Susa 

Lfike other centers of the ancient Near East, Susa was a 
city of many languages : polyglot in writing certainly 
and probably in speech as well. This fact of its ancient 
experience shapes the process of recovering its history. 

Languages, Scripts, and Decipherment 

Many of the cuneiform texts found at Susa are in 
Sumerian and Akkadian, the ancient languages of 
Mesopotamia that were written wherever the cune- 
iform script was used. Others are in Elamite, a lan- 
guage original to ancient southern and western Iran 
but rarely found elsewhere in the ancient Near East. 
Inscriptions of the Achaemenid Persian rulers in 
Elamite or Akkadian or in both languages are some- 
times accompanied by versions in Old Persian, the 
court language of the Achaemenid empire, written in 
a different, quasi-alphabetic script whose appearance 
was modeled on Mesopotamian cuneiform. The statue 
of Darius I that was brought from Egypt and set up in 
Susa (fig. 50, p. 220) even has a version of its inscrip- 
tions in a fourth language, Egyptian, written in 

All of these languages became more completely 
extinct than ancient Greek or Latin ever did, for the 
ability to read and understand them, and even the 
memory of them, were utterly lost. Sumerian, the 

first language to be written in the cuneiform script — 
before 3000 B.C. — was preserved by Mesopotamian 
scholarship and literature long after it had died out as a 
spoken language, but it vanished when the cuneiform 
script went out of use in the first century A.D. ; it has 
no demonstrable relationship to any known, ancient 
language, and no ancient or modern descendants. Ak- 
kadian, the language of Babylonia and Assyria, is 
Semitic, but it belongs to a branch of the Semitic 
family different from those of Hebrew, Arabic, and 
other modern languages, and it too had no direct 
descendants. Elamite may be remotely connected 
to an ancestor of the Dravidian languages of India 
and may have survived in the mountains around 
Khuzistan until early medieval times, but it has no 
known close ancient relatives and no direct descen- 
dants. Only Old Persian is dimly familiar to modern 
ears; it is an Indo-European language, in fact an 
Iranian language, a representative of an ancestral stage 
of modern Persian, though not itself a direct lineal 

The recovery of these dead languages was the con- 
sequence of some of the great achievements of nine- 
teenth-century research: the decipherment, first, of 
Old Persian cuneiform writing, and then, with Old 
Persian as a key, of Mesopotamian cuneiform. This 
new science recovered the very words of ancient soci- 
eties that had been only dimly known from the Bible 


254 I The Written Record 

or from the classical historians, and those of other 
societies that had been wholly lost to history. 

The keys to the decipherments were the multi- 
lingual inscriptions of the Achaemenid Persian kings: 
those at Persepolis, the great palace complex built by 
Darius I (522-486 B.C.) and his successors near mod- 
ern Shiraz, and the great rock inscription of Darius at 
Bisitun in the central Zagros (fig. 55). Travelers who 
visited the sites and decipherers who worked on fac- 
similes of the texts were quick to realize that two of the 
languages in the inscriptions were not original to 
Persia. One was recognized as existing on older monu- 
mental reliefs from Assyria and on bricks and tablets 
from Babylonia, and the decipherers correctly inferred 
that it was Babylonian. Another was also found in rock 
inscriptions near Izeh in eastern Khuzistan, but es- 
pecially in texts from Susa that seemed still older, 
and so one of the several names proposed for the lan- 
guage that is now called Elamite was, appropriately 

Since those nineteenth- century beginnings the 
Babylonian, Assyrian, Sumerian, and Elamite vari- 
ants of the cuneiform writing system have come to be 
thoroughly understood, but the several languages that 
were written in the cuneiform script are understood to 
varying degrees. Sumerian and Akkadian are well 
enough known to be confidently translated — although 
the evidence drawn from Sumerian and Akkadian 

texts can still be easily misinterpreted. The under- 
standing of Elamite, however, is comparatively poor, 
for various reasons including the absence of close cog- 
nate languages, the relatively small size and narrow 
range of the corpus, the small number of bilingual 
texts, and the almost complete absence of ancient na- 
tive lexical and grammatical scholarship. Translations 
from Elamite commonly involve a large measure of 
conjecture — although Elamite texts can still be sensi- 
bly interpreted as historical evidence. 

Languages and Historical Context 

The use of both Mesopotamian and "Susian" lan- 
guages is emblematic of a general condition in the 
history of Susa. Susa stood at a boundary between two 
ancient realms; it was central to neither, but it partici- 
pated in both. It was tied to the cities, kingdoms, and 
tribal territories of Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria to 
the west but also to the populations and Elamite states 
of the Iranian highlands to the north and east, and 
above all to ancient Anshan, in modern Fars. The 
cultural and political life of Susa was strongly affected 
by contact and confrontation between these realms. 
Eventually, when the Achaemenids came to dominate 
the formerly Elamite Fars and then to incorporate both 
Mesopotamia and the region of Susa into their conti- 

Figure 55. Rock relief showing Darius I receiving conquered foreign kings, with inscriptions in Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. Bisitun, 
Iran, Achaemenid period, reign of Darius I, ca. 522-486 B.C. 

Cuneiform Texts from Susa | 255 

nental empire, they made Susa one of the preeminent 
royal residences of the empire. It overshadowed Baby- 
lon and even Persepolis itself in Greek and Roman 
notions about the play of Achaemenid politics. No class 
of artifacts from Susa reflects the city's changing cul- 
tural and political ties with more detail and complexity 
than the cuneiform texts. 

The cuneiform writing system itself is the very 
hallmark of Mesopotamian culture. Texts characteris- 
tic of cuneiform study and scholarship were produced 
wherever cuneiform was used. Among the Sumerian 
and Akkadian texts found at Susa are exercise tablets 
of student scribes; syllabaries and lexical lists that 
helped them learn the languages; aids to the study of 
arithmetic and geometry (Nos. 194, 195); occasional 
manuscripts of Akkadian and Sumerian literary or 
literary-historical texts (No. 192); and parts of omen 
texts, the reference tools of the queen of Mesopota- 
mian sciences, divination. 

Other Sumerian and Akkadian texts from Susa 
reflect some of the vicissitudes of its political history 
In the late third millennium B.C., Mesopotamian 
conquerors — first the Old Akkadian successors of Sar- 
gon, and later the rulers of the Third Dynasty of Ur — 
took Susa, held it, and ruled it as a province, some- 
times leaving their commemorative inscriptions there 
(No. 56), and installing governors whose clerks left 
Sumerian and Akkadian administrative texts. Al- 
though Susa fell to later Mesopotamian armies several 
times in its long history, and sometimes with disas- 
trous consequences (as, for example, under the As- 
syrian king Ashurbanipal; see No. 189), it never 
experienced sustained rule from the Mesopotamian 
capitals after the beginning of the second millennium. 
Yet the plains around Susa were always open to the 
traffic of Mesopotamian armies, tribesmen, traders, 
diplomatic couriers, and political refugees, all agents of 
sustained connections between Susa and the Meso- 
potamian states. 

From early in the second millennium until well 
into the first, many rulers of Susa used as their first 
and foremost title "king of Anshan and Susa" (the 
usual word order employed in Elamite texts; in Akka- 
dian texts the title is usually "king of Susa and An- 
shan"). Susa and Anshan, the plains of Khuzistan and 
the mountain valleys of Fars, were the poles of an 
enduring political entity, at least in the rulers' aspira- 
tions. Even if conditions of geography and history 
made for a fragile political connection at the best of 
times, even if the royal title sometimes asserted a claim 
rather than a reality, even when Anshan itself was no 

longer a great city commanding a large hinterland, the 
historical tie between Susa and Anshan was intimate 
enough to be revived and asserted at Susa for more 
than a thousand years. 

Historical Reconstruction and 
Historical Identity 

When Vincent Scheil, the great epigrapher of the Susa 
excavations, published his first volume of texts from 
Susa at the turn of this century, he began with the 
assertion "Here begins the history of Elam." 1 These 
ringing words are often quoted, and they are quoted 
again here with particular emphasis. 

In the first place, the emphasis falls on the word 
begins, for deducing and interpreting the past from the 
texts is a continuing process. The cuneiform texts are 
not books of history that need only to be deciphered, 
translated, put in order, and then consulted for the 
answers to whatever questions seem important to a 
modern reader. They are artifacts of ancient life and 
like tools or pots or other artifacts, they have attributes 
of style and use. They are evidence of the purposes for 
which they were meant, of the processes and tech- 
niques by which they were formed, of the circum- 
stances in which they were used, deposited, preserved, 
and discovered, and of the status, organization, or 
expectations of the people who produced them. But 
their preservation and discovery are subject to some 
chance, and the preserved texts are bound to lack an- 
swers to some of the most rudimentary questions. 
They form a very discontinuous pattern: legal texts 
with evidence of ordinary commerce may survive 
from one time and place, inscriptions commemorating 
the works of kings from another, and no texts at all 
from another, while still other texts remain that cannot 
be confidently attributed to a particular time and cir- 
cumstance. The shape of the pattern changes, some- 
times dramatically, when new texts are found. The 
process of recovering history from the texts is cumula- 
tive, by and large, but its conclusions — outwardly 
simple statements about what happened in ancient 
history, and how, and when — may change sharply as 
the study advances, in much the same way and for 
many of the same reasons that some propositions of 
modern physics, for example, seem to be very differ- 
ent from those of the eighteenth-century physics that 
gave rise to the modern state of the science. 

In the second place, the subject of the history that 
emerges from these texts needs some emphasis. When 

256 I The Written Record 

Scheil wrote of the beginning of the history of Elam, 
he used "Elam" solely as a geographical and political 
term whose ancient reference changed with the cir- 
cumstances of political history. 2 He preferred to dis- 
tinguish as "Anzanite" the language now ordinarily 
called Elamite, to underscore his view that it was 
imported by rulers from Anshan and was not indige- 
nous to Susa (whose original and determinant popula- 
tion he believed to be speakers of a Semitic language, 
like the populations of Mesopotamia). 3 

Since Scheil's day Susa and its vicinity have re- 
mained the source of most pre-Achaemenid texts in 
Elamite. The surrounding regions of Iran were for 
many years scantily explored and almost completely 
devoid of ancient texts. Despite Scheil's precision, 
therefore, a concentration on Susa came to dominate 
even the most careful historical considerations of Elam 
and Elamite. In less careful treatments Susa was por- 
trayed as the permanent center and capital of Elam, 
and Elam was portrayed as a near neighbor of Meso- 
potamia with a provincial, idiosyncratic, sometimes 
impressive but sometimes merely barbarous variant 
of Mesopotamian culture. But recent scholarship, 
sparked by remarkable results from archaeological 
work of the late 1960s and 1970s in Pars, Kerman, and 
Seistan, has increasingly turned away from this his- 
torical oversimplification and toward reconsiderations 
of some of the central issues that Scheil confronted. 

One complex of such issues is " ethnic duality" at 
Susa: the interrelated questions arising from the con- 
frontation of Mesopotamian and Elamite states and the 
cohabitation of Mesopotamian and Elamite culture at 
Susa. 4 Another is historical geography: the inter- 
related questions involved in determining the locations 
of places and polities of ancient southern and western 
Iran and in comprehending the scale and character of 
the interactions that ancient mentions of these places 
imply. ^ Evidence pertinent to these questions can be 
found in cuneiform texts from Susa itself, in the 
relative frequency of Sumerian and Akkadian and of 
Elamite texts over time; the relative frequency of 
Elamite and Akkadian personal names; invocations of 
Mesopotamian and of Elamite deities; use of Elamite 
loanwords in Akkadian texts and of Akkadian loan- 
words in Elamite; geographical names expressing ter- 
ritorial and political claims in the titles of Mesopota- 
mian and Elamite rulers or their officials, and so on. 

Yet the texts from Susa cannot be understood in 
isolation. Their interpretation relies on the Mesopota- 
mian historical record. Texts from Babylonia and As- 
syria supply the outline of ancient chronology and the 

occasional synchronisms between rulers that give 
dates to evidence from Susa, as well as much of the 
usable information on the historical geography of an- 
cient Iran. They are the source of almost all the infor- 
mation now employed for reconstructing narratives of 
certain episodes in Elamite political history that af- 
fected Susa. They contain the traditions of Mesopota- 
mian learning against which some of the scholarly 
texts from Susa can be evaluated, and they even supply 
some ethnographic information on Elamite society 
and religion that helps in the interpreting of Elamite 
inscriptions. In short, they tie Susa and Elam to 
the continuum of Mesopotamian and Near Eastern 

If this connectedness is often obtained at a cost of 
bias, selection, exaggeration, or misapprehension in 
the work of ancient Mesopotamian scribes, and of a 
Mesopotamian chauvinism in the work of modern 
interpreters, texts from Susa can offset this cost, at 
least in part. They sometimes corroborate the claims of 
Mesopotamian rulers and sometimes qualify them, 
often supplying the names and accomplishments of 
dynasts whom Mesopotamian sources scarcely men- 
tion or ignore entirely (No. 140). In some periods they 
document day-to-day legal behaviors of inhabitants of 
Susa (No. 187), or the operations of state administra- 
tive bureaus (No. 188). 

It is fair to say that over the long course of its 
ancient history Susa became increasingly Elamite, and 
conversely, Elam became increasingly identified with 
Susa. At the beginning of the second millennium, 
Susa could be seen, at least from Mesopotamia, as an 
eastern salient of the Mesopotamian political system, 
where Akkadian was the dominant language and 
where Elamite influence was strong but at least partly 
extraneous. The Elamite heartland, certainly in a po- 
litical sense and probably also in a linguistic sense, was 
in the highlands, with Anshan rising to the impor- 
tance that would give it such a conspicuous place in the 
titles of later Elamite kings. By the first quarter of the 
first millennium, however, Babylonian and Assyrian 
rulers certainly called the surroundings of Susa Elam 
and considered Susa, although not the political capital, 
the symbolic center of what was Elamite. And under 
the Achaemenid Persian kings, the province that was 
ruled from Susa was called Elam; the territory of 
which Anshan had once been the center had become 
Persia proper. 6 

This long-run development has a counterpart in 
the languages of the cuneiform texts from Susa. The 
overwhelming majority of the texts from the late third 

Cuneiform Texts from Susa | 257 

millennium and the first part of the second millen- 
nium are in Akkadian and Sumerian; the overwhelm- 
ing majority of texts from the later second millennium 
and the first half of the first millennium are in Elam- 
ite. Nevertheless, two observations must qualify this 
general statement. First, the choice of language in the 
several genres of texts — royal inscriptions, legal and 
administrative texts, scholarly texts — is not in itself a 
simple, direct indicator of political or cultural ascen- 
dancy Second, the texts do not simply bespeak a long 
process in which one language and culture replaced 
another; on the contrary, the metropolis of Susa with 
the territory around it remained meaningfully, even 
increasingly, polyglot throughout its ancient history 
To treat Susa as a mere stage on which a confrontation 
of modern historical constructs called Mesopotamians 
and Elamites was played out would be to beggar the 
realities of its past. 

Ancient History and Ancient 
Historical Traditions 

shimashkian and sukkalmah The process of inter- 
preting the list of early rulers from Susa (No. 181) 
exemplifies the interplay of Susian and Mesopotamian 
texts. The list itself is no more than two series of 
names, labeled in Akkadian 'Twelve kings of Awan" 
and 'Twelve Shimashkian kings/' respectively. Some 
of the kings named ruled over Susa, as dedicatory 
inscriptions found there corroborate. But others on the 
list are better known from Mesopotamian texts: two 
of the "kings of Awan" are mentioned in Old Babylo- 
nian copies of Old Akkadian royal inscriptions as 
being among the opponents of Sargon of Akkad in a 
series of wars that led to Akkadian domination over 
Susa (this is confirmed by Old Akkadian inscriptions 
and by administrative texts found at Susa itself); an 
Old Babylonian copy of a Sumerian royal inscription 
provides a crucial chronological datum, the synchro- 
nism between the last of the kings of Awan, Puzur- 
Inshushinak, and the Sumerian Ur-Nammu, king of 
Ur (ca. 2100 B.C.); 7 several of the early Shimashkians 
appear in Sumerian administrative texts of the Third 
Dynasty of Ur, where they are mentioned incon- 
spicuously as seemingly petty rulers from the interior 
of Iran at a time when the kings of Ur controlled Susa 
and installed their governors there (this dominion, 
too, is confirmed by inscriptions of the kings and 
governors, and by Sumerian administrative texts) ; and 
it is a Sumerian literary text that identifies one of the 

Shimashkians, Kindattu, as the Elamite conqueror of 
Ur and by implication the ruler who brought Susa 
under Shimashkian rule, laying the foundations of a 
large-scale Elamite state that controlled much of 
southern and western Iran. 8 

The political origins of this large state were in the 
Elamite highlands of Iran, and the names of the rulers 
were all Elamite. But almost all of the inscriptions of 
the rulers, especially those at Susa, are in Sumerian 
and Akkadian, and the characteristic title of the rulers 
who succeeded the Shimashkians in control of the 
state, sukkalmah, was drawn from the Sumerian title 
of a high official who had claimed to control the east- 
ern frontiers of the empire of Ur. This royal style was a 
conscious effort to portray the Elamite rulers, however 
un-Mesopotamian their realm and mores, as succes- 
sors to Mesopotamian imperial claims — much as a 
medieval European sovereign might adopt Roman 
consular titles, and for similar effect. 

The legal and administrative texts from the reigns 
of the Shimashkian and sukkalmah rulers primarily 
represent activities of the local population, and only 
secondarily reflect the intentions of the rulers. These 
texts, too, are almost all in Sumerian and Akkadian. 
The Akkadian dialect used, the formal properties of 
the legal texts, and some of the underlying legal prac- 
tices differ significantly from those found in contem- 
porary Mesopotamia, implying that these are not 
cultural imports but the results of long indigenous 
developments. The texts also include Elamite personal 
names, and apparently Elamite legal or administrative 
terms, which perhaps testify not only to contempo- 
rary rule by an Elamite state, but also to a long prior 
history of interaction. 

The school texts from these periods at Susa are in 
the Mesopotamian tradition : exercise tablets in which 
the student copied a text set by the master, excerpts 
from the syllabaries with which the students learned 
the cuneiform script, excerpts of the great lexical series 
har. ra = hubullu, lists of gods, and so on. 9 

The list of rulers from Susa is the record of an 
indigenous historiographic tradition, but the histori- 
cal realities behind this tradition, even in their broad- 
est strokes, must be derived piecemeal from diverse 
Mesopotamian and Susian documents. The tradition 
is not focused on Susa itself, for scarcely half of the 
named rulers actually held Susa. It was not the only 
tradition studied by scribes at Susa, where manu- 
scripts of the Sumerian King List and manuscripts of 
an Old Babylonian literary version of diplomatic cor- 
respondence from Shulgi of Ur have also been found. 10 

258 I The Written Record 

In fact, the list of early rulers was very likely modeled 
on the Sumerian King List, and composed to serve 
similar rhetorical aims. Just as the Sumerian King List 
reduced the complex history of competing Sumerian 
states to a single succession of dynasties holding do- 
minion over an ideal Mesopotamian state, the Susa list 
reduces contemporary local dynasts to a single line of 
successors holding an ideal, unified Elamite kingship. 
And as the Sumerian King List gave the claims of later 
Sumerian rulers a historical legitimacy that could be 
traced back to the time "when kingship descended 
from heaven/' so the Susian list projects into the 
remote past the political achievements and claims 
of the later Elamite kings, the sukkalmahs of the 
late twentieth century B.C. and later, and so clothes 
them with the power of venerable antiquity and fore- 

middle elamite Texts from Susa in the period of 
Middle Elamite rule (ca. 1400-1100 B.C.) present a 
very different aspect. The great majority of them are 
in Elamite, and most are building or dedicatory in- 
scriptions (Nos. 185, 186). Only a few have narrative 
sections. Much of the little that is known about politi- 
cal events of the Middle Elamite reigns comes from 
Mesopotamian texts, above all from literary texts pre- 
served in manuscripts that are much later than the 
events. These Mesopotamian texts describe Elamite 
invasions of Mesopotamia and Elamite spoliation 
of Mesopotamian cities in terms that are richer in 
ethnic and religious judgment than in historical veri- 

The origins of the first Middle Elamite dynasty 
and the locus of the Middle Elamite state's early politi- 
cal development are not well established. The charac- 
teristic title "king of Anshan and Susa" evokes the 
glorious past, but at the time Anshan was a modest 
place at best. The Elamite inscriptions from Susa no 
longer show any effort to assume a Mesopotamian 
style, but some of them do include an indigenous 
historiographic tradition. Some inscriptions of 
Shilhak-Inshushinak (ca. 1125 B.C.) list earlier rulers: 
not only his Middle Elamite predecessors, but also 
Shimashkian and sukkalmah rulers of the more re- 
mote past. Moreover, some of the Sumerian and Akka- 
dian inscriptions on bricks are actually copies made by 
Middle Elamite kings from the inscriptions of earlier 
rulers, supplied with accompanying inscriptions in 
Elamite, in the names of the Middle Elamite rulers 
themselves (No. 185) — thus confirming what the few 
bilingual inscriptions and a few nonmonumental texts 

Figure 56. Pebble engraved with royal images and an inscription of 
Shilhak-Inshushinak. Middle Elamite period, ca. 1150-1120 B.C. 
Blue chalcedony, H. i T /s in. (2.8 cm). London, the British Museum, 

of the period imply, that the scribes who drafted Elam- 
ite inscriptions could also use the Mesopotamian lan- 
guages, albeit somewhat awkwardly. Some Middle 
Elamite rulers claimed descent from Shilhaha, the 
man treated in texts from Susa as the effective founder 
of the state and dynasty of the sukkalmah rulers in the 
twentieth century B.C. This figurative claim, the citing 
of early rulers, and the copying of earlier brick in- 
scriptions all imply a consciousness of the Elamite past 
and an espousal of it as a model and source of value for 
the Middle Elamite present. 

Yet the way this past was invoked in the texts from 
Susa is highly specific to Susa and in fact is tied to a 
few monumental buildings there. The Akkadian texts 
that the Middle Elamite rulers copied were inscrip- 
tions on bricks of earlier temple builders. The lists of 
predecessors in Shilhak-Inshushinak's inscriptions are 
not meant to summarize the history of Susa or the 
Elamite states with a list of the great dynasts of the 
past to whom Shilhak-Inshushinak compared himself, 
but to serve a far narrower purpose: to summarize the 
history of the temple at Susa with a list of the rulers 
who had constructed or restored it. Not every earlier 
king was among the builders, and thus the historical 
outline that can be obtained from the building and 
dedicatory inscriptions of Susa is incomplete and must 
be filled out from other sources. The most dramatic 
source of such complementary information is a re- 
cently published Babylonian text, a literary version of 

Cuneiform Texts from Susa | 259 

a royal letter that mentions political marriages be- 
tween the ruling families of Babylon and Elam. It has 
forced a drastic revision of thinking about the number, 
succession, and chronology of the Middle Elamite 
kings that had been derived chiefly from royal inscrip- 
tions at Susa, pushing the reign of the great builder 
Untash-Napirisha back about a hundred years earlier 
than had commonly been supposed, to the last part of 
the fourteenth century B.C. 11 And, conversely, it im- 
plies that Susa became a center in the history of this 
dynasty and its kingdom only after prior political 
development elsewhere, which is why some of Untash- 
Napirisha's forebears were unable to leave their names 
on the buildings of Susa or in the vicinity. 

The persistence of a local tradition of Mesopota- 
mian scholarship at Susa is exemplified by compila- 
tions of omens read from the entrails of sacrificial 
animals, malformed fetuses, celestial phenomena, 
dreams, and other portentous occurrences. 12 Arcane or 
foolish as they may seem to a modern reader, these 
quasi-scientific texts represent the most important and 
most richly documented activities of ancient Meso- 
potamian intellectual life. Unfortunately, few of the 
pertinent texts from Susa can be dated with much 
confidence, but most of them certainly predate the 
Neo-Elamite period, many must come from the ear- 
liest Middle Elamite period or more likely shortly 
before, and a few fragments may be still older. They 
belong to categories well known in Mesopotamian 
scholarship, but they are not simply manuscripts of 
canonical Mesopotamian texts that were copied in 
Susa. The texts in Akkadian show distinctive spellings, 
the mark of a consistent local scribal tradition. One 
text in Elamite is, if not an actual translation of an 
Akkadian original, at least a compilation that was 
deliberately modeled on a canonical Mesopotamian 
series. These documents are the traces of a continuing 
knowledge and use of Mesopotamian languages, and 
of a continuing practice of scholarship, modeled on 
Mesopotamian originals but developed in a style par- 
ticular to the region, in which at least occasional ef- 
forts were made to transpose Mesopotamian scholarly 
work into Elamite. 

neo-elamite For the Neo-Elamite period at Susa 
(approximately the second quarter of the first millen- 
nium B.C.), Babylonian chronicles, Assyrian royal an- 
nals, and state correspondence of the late Assyrian 
kings give information on warfare and diplomacy 
among Assyria, Babylonia, Susiana, and the territo- 
ries of Elamite kings. These sources, unparalleled in 

detail and complexity, name fifteen or more Elamite 
kings, but only five or perhaps six are now documented 
by Elamite inscriptions from Susa itself (see No. 140), 
and not all of them can be identified with kings named 
by the Assyrians. There are historical reasons for this 
discrepancy. Because many of the Elamite kings of the 
seventh century B.C. ruled very briefly in turbulent 
times, there was no opportunity for them to commem- 
orate their reigns by building shrines at Susa where 
they might have left inscriptions. More important, the 
military and political strongholds of most of these 
embattled rulers came increasingly to be on the north- 
ern and eastern fringes of Khuzistan, apparently not at 
Susa itself. Susa did not become a target of Assyrian 
arms until the 640s, during the reign of Ashurbanipal. 
Nevertheless, the attention that Ashurbanipal's annals 
lavish on the Assyrian destruction of Susa conveys 
both an Assyrian understanding of Susa's immense 
importance at that time and some Assyrian historical 
assumptions about past relations among Susa, Elam, 
and Mesopotamia (No. 189). Susa was not a military 
stronghold and not a political center from which a 
greater Elamite state could be governed and annexed, 
but it was not just another city to be taken from the 
control of Neo-Elamite kings. It was the perduring 
center and visible monument of Elamite civilization as 
the Assyrians saw it: the site of temples, tombs of 
kings, and trophies of past wars with Mesopotamia. 
That is, the Mesopotamian sources include an ancient 
historical view of Elam and Mesopotamia in which 
Susa was the emblem of Elam. The annals' vengeful 
narration of what purports to be a complete eradication 
of this monument has an ironic aspect, for by its 
description of the monumental landscape of Susa and 
its unparalleled testimony about Susian religious and 
funerary practices it preserves precisely what was to be 

The Mesopotamian sources also make it clear that 
there was an important non-Elamite population in the 
vicinity of Susa. Chaldeans, Arameans, and Babylo- 
nians crossed between southern Mesopotamia and 
Khuzistan, and perhaps coastal Fars, often in flight 
from Assyrian armies. Refugee Babylonian political 
leaders consorted with Elamite kings and leaders. 
Some Babylonian enclaves formed in the vicinity and 
kept legal records in the language and form usual to 
Babylonia proper. ^ The presence of such refugees and 
enclaves, conspicuous in late records, must have been 
constant throughout the ancient history of Susa. 

That the eradication of Susa was not as absolute as 
the Assyrian annals assert emerges from about three 

260 The Written Record 

hundred texts from Susa, written in Elamite some- 
time between Ashurbanipal's destruction and the 
Achaemenid occupation. One archive, the record of a 
reasonably complex administrative apparatus, implies 
that Susa was in the hands of an Elamite state that 
controlled Susiana and points to the east and south as 
far as the vicinity of modern Izeh and Behbehan, a 
state otherwise unmentioned in the historical record 
(No. 188). A smaller group of roughly contemporary 
legal texts is extraordinary evidence for the use of the 
Elamite language to record day-to-day private con- 
tracts at Susa during the last decades of Elamite inde- 
pendence (No. 187). 

achaemenid These Neo-Elamite tablets also repre- 
sent the less conspicuous elements of the Achaemenid 
Persian empire's historical inheritance. After 520 B.C. 
Darius I began to construct palace complexes, first at 
Susa and later at Persepolis. At Susa he left a partic- 
ularly dramatic trilingual inscription that describes 
the peoples who supplied exotic materials and skilled 
workmen to build the palace (No. 190). The inscription 
emphasizes how vast and variegated was the world that 
the Achaemenids ruled, but it does not even hint at a 
glorious Elamite or Susian past. The Achaemenids did 
not portray themselves as the successors of earlier 
kings, nor their empire as something founded on ear- 
lier states. 

The links to the past showed at a humbler level. 
Both Persepolis and Susa were centers of regional 
administrative regimes under Darius and his suc- 
cessors. The administrative records processed at 
Persepolis and perhaps those processed at Susa were 
written in Elamite, and continued some usages found 
in earlier Neo-Elamite administrative texts at Susa. At 
Persepolis thousands of these Achaemenid administra- 
tive texts have been found, gathered in two archives. 
Only one tablet of this kind is thought to have been 
found at Susa, although its actual findspot is a matter 
of uncertainty. It bears the impression of a seal that is 
also found on texts of the same kind archived at Per- 
sepolis. If Number 191 is indeed from Susa, it may be 
the relic of another sizable archive of the same kind as 
those kept at Persepolis, and the seal impression on it 
would confirm the administrative link between Susa 
and Persepolis at the most specific level. ^ 

The population that surrounded the Achaemenid 
royal residence was more international and polyglot 
than ever, including transported workers, emissaries, 
refugees, craftsmen, and enclaves of resident aliens 
drawn from an area of unprecedented scale. The few 

known Achaemenid legal texts from Susa, all written 
in Akkadian, evidently document some of the affairs 
of resident enclaves. ^ Even at the height of Achae- 
menid rule, then, the day-to-day expenditures of a 
government agency may have been recorded in Elam- 
ite, while the day-to-day legal undertakings of resi- 
dents were apt to be recorded in Akkadian. The mix of 
languages used is evidence of contemporary social 
realities but also the product of long tradition, rooted 
in ancient conflict and interdependence. 



1. Scheil, 1900, p. vii. 

2. Ibid., p. ix. 

3. Scheie 1901, p. vii. 

4. Ibid. ; cf. Amiet, 1979a, pp. 2-22, restated in an English version 
in Amiet, 1979b, pp. 195-204. 

5. See especially Vallat, 1980, a programmatic statement that 
outlined a complex geographical argument and set many of the 
terms for a continuing debate. Scholars still disagree sharply 
about the locations of many ancient places. 

6. The distinction between "Susa" and "Elam" and developments 
in the use of the terms have been forcefully and engagingly 
expounded by Francois Vallat (1980). For a thumbnail sketch 
and graphic representation of Susa between Mesopotamia and 
Elam over the historical long run, see Vallat, 1989b, pp. 16-17. 

7. Wilcke, 1987, pp. 108-11. 

8. Stolper, 1982, pp. 49-54. 

9. See Tanret, 1986, pp. 139-50, with references to earlier litera- 
ture and texts. 

10. Jacobsen, 1939, pp. 10-11; D. O. Edzard, "Deux lettres royales 
d'Ur III en Sumerien 'syllabique' et pourvu d'une traduction 
accadienne," in Labat and Edzard, 1974, pp. 9-34. 

11. vas 24 91 (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Vorderasiatisches Mu- 
seum); see Steve and Vallat, 1989, pp. 223-38. 

12. E.g., Labat and Edzard, 1974; A. L. Oppenheim, 1956, 
pp. 256-61; Scheil, 1917b, pp. 139-42; idem, 1917a, pp. 29-59; 
and cf. Biggs and Stolper, 1983, p. 162. 

13. Erie Leichty, "Bel-epus and Tammaritu/' Anatolian Studies 33 
(1983), pp. 15^-55) David B. Weisberg, "The Length of the 
Reign of Hallusu-Insusinak/' JAOS 104 (1984), pp. 213-17; 
Matthew W. Stolper, "A Neo- Babylonian Text from the Reign 
of Hallusu," in MM-JS, pp. 235-41. 

14. M. B. Garrison, "Seals and the Elite at Persepolis: Some Obser- 
vations on Early Achaemenid Persian Art," Ars Orientalis 
(in press) ; idem, 'A Persepolis Fortification Tablet Seal at Susa" 
(in preparation). 

15. Rutten, 1954, pp. 83-85; Joannes, 1984, pp. 71-81; idem, 1990, 
pp. 173-80. Although the texts are in Babylonian, many of the 
persons involved in the transactions they record have Egyptian 
names, and some of the texts are striking for their departures 
from the standard legal formulas of contemporary Babylonia. 

Cuneiform Texts from Susa | 261 

Historical, Economic, and Legal Texts 

181 Tablet with a dynastic list of the kings 
of awan and shimashki 

Inscribed in Akkadian 

H. 3 a / 4 in. (8.2 cm); w. 2V2 in. (6.4 cm); D. iVs in. 
(i.j cm) 

Old Elamite, Sukkalmah period, ca. 1800-1600 B.C. 
Sb ljyzy 

The tablet contains twenty-six lines of text: twelve 
names followed by the comment " twelve kings of 
Awan," and twelve others defined as " twelve Shim- 
ashkian kings/' 1 Translated, it reads: 

Obverse: Pi-e-li[?] [or We(?)-e-te(?)] 



Twelve kings of Awan 





Lu [ ?] - [x-x-x] -lu-uh-ha-an 
Bottom edge: Kindattu 

Reverse: Ebarti 
Twelve Shimashkian kings 

Several Mesopotamian and Elamite king lists 
have been preserved. They are a precious source of 
information for historians, although they must be 
used with caution. The longest of these is the "Sum- 
erian King List/' compiled about 2000 B.C., which 
traces back to kings with mythically long reigns 
from "before the Flood/' 2 


This list is considerably less extensive and indi- 
cates neither the length of the reigns nor the filiation 
of the rulers. Unlike Mesopotamian king lists, it is 
not a genealogical document. Still, it is a relatively 
reliable historical source, since several of the rulers 
are known from other written documents originat- 
ing both in Susa (contemporary or later, Middle 
Elamite period texts) and in Mesopotamia. 

the kings OF awan The exact location of the king- 
dom of Awan is unknown, but from references in 
Mesopotamian texts dating to the second half of the 
third millennium B.C. we can identify it as an Elam- 
ite state not far from Susa, situated somewhere in 
the mountainous hinterland region. 

The Sumerian King List attributes 365 years to a 
dynasty of Awan. Three of its rulers are mentioned 
on the list and can be dated to about 2500-2400 B.C. 
on the basis of synchronisms with Mesopotamia, 
but their names are no longer visible. For this rea- 
son we do not know if the first sovereigns on the 
Susa tablet, for whom we have no other textual ref- 

262 The Written Record 

erences but who could have reigned during the same 
period, belonged to this dynasty. Additionally one 
cannot be sure that the Susa tablet provides a com- 
plete dynastic list in chronological order. The last 
five names on the tablet can be dated to between 
2300 and 2100 B.C. on the basis of references found 
in Mesopotamian texts. Only the twelfth ruler, 
Puzur-Inshushinak, left monuments and inscriptions 
in Susa, 

The eighth name on the list, Luhhishshan, is 
mentioned along with those of several rulers de- 
feated by the Mesopotamian king Sargon of Akkad, 
who reigned about 2334 to 2279 B.C. and whose 
conquests included Susa and Awan.3 Luhhishshan is 
identified as the son of the king of Elam, Hishi- 
prashini, who is probably Hishepratep, the ninth 
ruler on the list. The inversion of the two names 
could be merely a scribal error. Starting with the 
reign of Sargon 's successor, Susa came under the 
control of the kings of Akkad; but Awan seems to 
have remained an independent kingdom, since 
Naram-Sin of Akkad (ca. 2254-2218) concluded a 
treaty with one of its kings, perhaps Hita, the next- 
to-last ruler on the list. Hita might be the same per- 
son as the king called Hidam, who is named along 
with several Akkadian sovereigns in an invocation to 
the wise kings of ancient times in a fourteenth- 
century text, written in Hurrian, from the Hittite 
capital, Bogazkoy.4 

The last king on the list is Puzur-Inshushinak; 
we know that he was a contemporary of Ur-Nammu, 
the king of Ur who reigned from about 2112 to 2095 
B. c. 5 Because of the time gap we might hypothesize 
either that the list is incomplete, or that there was an 
important chronological break between the reigns of 
the last two kings of Awan. 

Puzur-Inshushinak was a conqueror and a 
builder. Many of his monuments on the Acropole of 
Susa (see Nos. ^4, 55) bear dedicatory inscriptions 
that have been used to reconstruct his political ca- 
reer. 6 His name indicates that he was probably of 
Susian origin. He seems to have been, successively, 
'governor of Susa/' " governor of Susa, prince [or 
viceroy] of Elam," and "king of Awan/' He probably 
took the last, prestigious title when he acceded to the 
throne after the victorious campaigns described on a 
statue excavated at Susa. 

As far as we now know, Puzur-Inshushinak was 
the first prince to claim a dual monarchy encom- 
passing both Susiana and the Elamite highlands. In 
order to reflect the ethnic and linguistic duality of 

his empire, most of Puzur-Inshushinak's monuments 
bear bilingual inscriptions in two scripts : Akkadian, 
the language spoken in Susa, transcribed in cune- 
iform writing; and Elamite, the language spoken in 
the highlands, transcribed in a linear writing that 
disappeared after his reign (see Nos. 182, 183). 

Puzur-Inshushinak was probably defeated by 
Shulgi, king of Ur about 2094 to 2047 B.C., who 
seized control of Susa. Awan disappeared from the 
political scene, absorbed by a confederation of states 
that would give rise to the Shimashki dynasty 

the shimashkian kings The name Shimashki 
appears for the first time in a text on a statue of 
Puzur-Inshushinak? which mentions that a king of 
Shimashki rendered homage to him. Contemporary 
Mesopotamian texts show that this was an inter- 
regional group of at least six principalities in south- 
west Iran, scattered along the northeastern and 
southeastern perimeter of Susiana 8 and in close con- 
tact with the kingdom of Ur, which controlled Susa. 
This entity, organized to block the expansion of the 
kings of Ur, was probably held together by marriage 
alliances. In this way a vast "family" arose and sub- 
sequently a "line" of kings known as the Shimash- 
kians, who governed their extremely scattered 
territories through family alliances. 

The first kings on the list are regional rulers 
whose reigns partially overlap. The first three, Gir- 
namme, Tazitta, and Ebarti (or Ebarat I), are known 
from Mesopotamian texts establishing food rations 
issued to messengers. These documents can be dated 
to 2044-2032 B.C. 9 

Shortly before 2000 B.C., the "king of Shimashki 
and of Elam," Kindattu, formed an alliance with 
Ishbi-Erra of Isin. They vanquished the kingdom of 
Ur and brought its last king, Ibbi-Sin, captive to 

The triumphant Elamites, "kings of Shimashki," 
found themselves at the head of a complex state en- 
compassing both Susa and the mountainous hinter- 
land. Contemporary inscriptions confirm the 
reign in Susa of several sovereigns on the list. 
Idaddu I, whose name is an abbreviation of Indattu- 
Inshushinak, was initially governor of Susa and then 
viceroy of Elam before he came to the throne, adopt- 
ing the title "king of Shimashki and of Elam." 10 His 
son Tan-Ruhuratir, whom he appointed governor of 
Susa, married the daughter of a prince of Eshnunna. 

Idaddu II, son of Tan-Ruhuratir, was deposed, 
perhaps after a raid by Gungunum, king of Larsa 

Historical, Economic, and Legal Texts | 263 

(ca. 1932-1906 B.C.), who ruled briefly over Susa. It 
seems that a junior Shimashki branch represented 
by a prince of Anshan, Ebarat (or Ebarti II), retook 
Susa and founded the Sukkalmah dynasty. 

Thus, this list of kings might have been written 
at a later date in an attempt to legitimize the Suk- 
kalmah line. The last two kings on the list, not men- 
tioned in any Susa texts, might have been members 
of the older branch. 


1. Scheil, 1931; idem, 1932, pp. iv-v; Konig, 1965, p. 1; 
Boehmer, 1966; van Dijk, 1978; W. G. Lambert, 1979, 
pp. 16-17, 3 8 -44; Stolper, 1982; idem, 1984, pp. 10-23; 
idem, 1989; Andre and Salvini, 1989. 

2. Jacobsen, 1939. 

3. H. Hirsch, "Die Inschriften der Konige von Agade," AfO 20 
(1963), pp. 46-47 (Sargon b9); 49-50 (Sargon bi3). 

4. This is a hypothesis. See V Haas and I. Wegner, L Abteilung 
die Texte aus Bogazkoy, vol. 5/1, Corpus der Hurritischen 
Sprachdenkmaler (Rome, 1988), no. 87. 

5. See Wilcke, 1987, pp. 109 ff. 

6. See the list in Boehmer, 1966, p. 350; completed in Andre and 
Salvini, 1989, p. 70 n. 35. 

7. Scheil, 1913, pp. 7-16. 

8. For a detailed analysis see Stolper, 1982, pp. 45-46. 

9. For complete bibliographical references see ibid., pp. 49-50. 

10. Scheil, 1913, p. 26: line 4 and pi. 3, no. 4: line 4. 

182 Cone inscribed in linear Elamite 

Baked clay (chipped on the bottom) 

H. iVs in. (5.5 cm); diam. 2 3 / 4 in. (5.6 cm) 

Old Elamite period, reign of Puzur-Inshushinak, 

ca. 2100 B.C. 

Acropole; Sb 17829 

The two-line inscription (inscription J) runs around 
the top of the cone. A vertical dividing line on the 
object marks where the lines of writing begin. The 
inscription is probably incomplete and may be vo- 
tive. It reads from left to right around the summit. 1 
Puzur-Inshushinak united Susa and the Elamite 
backcountry into a dual state in which a bilingual 
culture emerged. Alongside the Akkadian language, 
written in cuneiform, a new, linear, script was 
adopted to transcribe the Elamite language. Twenty- 
one inscriptions in linear Elamite are known and are 
designated by the letters A through U Nineteen of 
them were excavated in Susa and date to the reign of 
Puzur-Inshushinak. Of the remaining two, one is on 
a fragment of a ceramic vase excavated in a cemetery 

at Shahdad in the Kerman region; 2 the other report- 
edly came from the vicinity of Persepolis, not far 
from Anshan, the capital of the Elamite highlands 
(fig. 9, p. 8).3 

Attempts to decipher this writing began with 
the discovery of the first documents at the beginning 
of the twentieth century, but the work is still not 
completed. ^ It has recently been ascertained^ that 
nearly all of the Elamite inscriptions on Puzur- 
Inshushinak's monuments at Susa were associated 
with Akkadian inscriptions on or closely related to 
the monuments and are therefore directly or indi- 
rectly bilingual. The texts are read from left to right 
on some monuments and from right to left on 

There are several linear Elamite inscriptions on 
small terracotta objects. 6 On three cones (with in- 
scriptions J, K, L) of which this is one, all the signs 
are known from monumental inscriptions, which 
probably means that their inscriptions too are votive 
texts. An inscription (M) on a fragmentary disk- 
shaped object contains several new signs. Finally, on 
two tablets with inscriptions N (which might date to 
an earlier period) and O, the signs are nearly all 
hapax legomena (i.e., without other known occur- 
rence), which probably indicates that the textual con- 
tent is different. 



264 I The Written Record 

1. Scheil, 1935, XI: J; Hinz, 1969, p. 39, Abb. 11; Meriggi, 
1971, p. 191 par. 503, pi. 3:J. 

2. W. Hinz, "Eine altelamische Tonkrug-Aufschrift vom Rande 
der Lut," AMI NF 4 (1971)/ pp. 21-24. 

3. Hinz, 1969, pp. 11-27; Peter Calmeyer, "Beobachtungen an 
der Silbervase aus Persepolis," IA 24, Melanges P Amiet II 
(1989), pp. 79-85. 

4. The first genuine attempt to decipher the script was made by 
the German scholar C. Frank; see Frank, 1912; idem, 1923. 
There followed E Bork, Die Strichinschriften von Susa 
(Konigsberg, 1924). See also the more recent syntheses of 
Hinz (1969, pp. 11-44, w i tn an earlier bibliography, p. 28) 
and Meriggi (1971, pp. 184-220). 

5. Andre and Salvini, 1989. 

6. Hinz, 1969, pp. 39-43. 

183 Cone inscribed in linear Elamite 


H. 2 7 /s in. (7.4 cm); diam: iVs in. {6 cm) 

Old Elamite period, reign of Puzur-Inshushinak, 

ca. 2100 B.C. 

Acropole; Sb 17830 

An inscription of six horizontal lines runs around 
the cone. Only the first line is complete (inscrip- 
tion K). 1 

See the discussion for Number 182. 


1. Scheil, 1935, XI:K; Hinz, 1969, p. 40, Abb. 12; Meriggi, 
1971, p. 191 no. 503, pi. 3:K. 


184 Foundation document commemorating 
the construction of the nanna temple by 


H. 7V2 in. (19.1 cm); diam. 3 in. (7.6 cm); diam. of 

hole, at top V 4 in. (2 cm); thickness of walls V 4 in. (.6 cm) 

Inscribed area: h. 5% in. ("13.3 cm); w. top 2 5 /s in. 

(6.8 cm), base 2V2 in. (6.4 cm) 

Old Elamite, Sukkalmah period, ca. 1900 B.C. 

Sb 15440 

This hollow cylinder 1 is slightly conical toward the 
bottom. It bears signs of restorations and its base is 


Historical Economic, and Legal Texts \ 265 

An eleven-line framed inscription covers one- 
third of the side of the object. Translated, it reads: 

Ebarat, king of Anshan and of Susa, Shilhaha, suk- 
kalmah and father of the land [?] of Anshan and of 
Susa, Attahushu, sukkal and ippir [magistrate?] of 
Susa, son of the sister-wife of Shilhaha, constructed 
the temple of Nanna. 

This text is the basis for our understanding of 
the complex system of government characteristic of 
the Sukkalmah period, which followed the Shim- 
ashkian period. One interpretation of the evidence is 
that this system was founded on the principle of 
co-regencies linking three members of the ruling 

Sometime around 1925 B.C., Gungunum, the 
king of Larsa, apparently put an end to the Shimash- 
kian kings' control of Susa and brought about the 
downfall of Idaddu II. 2 Several years later, the Elam- 
ite prince Ebarat — who is most probably Ebarti, the 
ninth Shimashkian sovereign on the king list of Susa 
(No. 181)3 — retook Susa. He founded a new dy- 
nasty 4 or, more likely provided for the passage of 
power from one branch of the ruling family to 

Ebarat, who in all likelihood came from the land 
of Anshan, adopted a title that was to remain unique 
in his dynasty, "king of Anshan and Susa." This 
double title emphasized the extent of the new mon- 
archy and the dual character of Elam, which encom- 
passed both the Susiana plain and the outlying 
region, populated by mountain-dwellers, whose 
capital was the city of Anshan (present-day Tal-i 

Ebarat organized the government according to a 
complex hierarchical system, which was intended to 
guarantee his own succession while taking into con- 
sideration the different regional components of Elam 
in order to maintain the unity of this composite en- 
tity He adopted a tripartite scheme — which had an- 
tecedents in the Shimashkian period — in association 
with two members of his family: his son Shilhaha^ 
and Shilhaha's son Attahushu. 6 

Shilhaha was given the Sumerian title sukkal- 
mah, meaning "grand regent." This term originally 
designated the office of a Sumerian dignitary, but in 
Elam it took on a royal meaning. Shilhaha was later 
purported to be the true founder of the dynasty, and 
his successors, the last sukkalmahs, called them- 
selves "sons of the sister(-wife) of Shilhaha. "7 The 
later Middle Elamite princes used the same claim to 

legitimize the sukkalmah rulers and their own 

Attahushu, who was named regent of Susa with 
the title "sukkal and ippir [magistrate] of Susa," left 
a series of inscriptions and monuments that mention 
his constructions in the city. He was probably con- 
temporary with Sumu-abum, king of Babylon 
(1894-1881 B.C.). 8 There is no evidence that he ever 
rose to the position of sukkalmah.? 


1. See Scheil, 1929a; idem, 1939, pp. 7-8; Konig, 1965, 

pp. 4-5; Sollberger, 1968, p. 31; Sollberger and Kupper, 1971, 

p. 260: IV06a; Stolper, 1982, pp. 54-56; idem, 1984, 

pp. 27-28; Vallat, 1989a; Grillot and Glassner, forthcoming. 

2. For this reconstruction of events, see Stolper, 1982, p. 56. 

3. W. G. Lambert, 1979, p. 16; Stolper, 1982, pp. 35-56. 

4. Later inscriptions of the Middle Elamite ruler Shilhak- 
Inshushinak name Ebarat after the Shimashkian rulers, but 
without filiation, unlike the princes before and after him on 
the list; this implies that he was regarded as the founder of 
a new line; see Konig, 1965, pp. no, 113-14: Inschrift 48, 
48a, 48b. 

5. On this filiation, see the stele of Shilhak-Inshushinak: ibid., 
Inschrift 483,3. We know that Ebarat and Shilhaha ruled at 
the same time because their names are associated in the oath 
formulas on Susian legal contracts: L. De Meyer, "Epart Suk- 
kalmah?," in M. A. Beek et ah, eds., Symbolae Biblicae et 
Mesopotamicae Francisco Mario Theodoro de Liagre Bohl 
Dedicatae (Leiden, 1973), pp. 293-94; and on seal impres- 
sions: Vincent Scheil, "Passim," RA 22 (1925), p. 159; Amiet, 
1972a, no. 1685, pp. 211, 218, pi. 157. 

6. The filiation of Shilhaha and Attahushu and the contem- 
poraneity of their reigns are contested by Francois Vallat in 
three recent articles: Vallat, i989d; idem, 1989a; idem, 1990, 
pp. 119-27. 

7. Compare the inscriptions of Kuk-Nashur II or III, Tan-Uli, 
and Temti-halki. The expression "son of the sister of Shil- 
haha" designates the son that the king had with his sister 
(M. Lambert, 1971, p. 217). What probably originated as an 
actual relationship quickly turned into a mere titular element. 

8. Vincent Scheil, "Textes elamites-semitiques," MDP 10 (1908), 
p. 18, no. 2: tablet dated to "the year of Sumu-abum." 

9. His tenure was apparently long, since it seems that three gen- 
erations of one family served him. An axe and a bronze tank- 
ard give the name of the servant Ibni-Adad, the grandfather; 
the name of the son, Rim-Adad, is known from two impres- 
sions on sealings, while the name of the grandson, Adad-rabi, 
appears on three impressions on tablets. See the bibliography 
in Sollberger, 1968, p. 31; and the summary in Vallat, I989d, 
p. 23. However, these are frequently used names and also 
might be mere homonyms, in which case there is no evidence 
of filiation between the three. 

266 | The Written Record 


1 85 Brick with Sumerian and Akkadian 
inscription of kljk-kirmash and elamite 
inscription of Shilhak-Inshushinak I 

Baked clay 

H. 6Vs in. (15.7 cm); w. 6Vs in. (15.5 cm); D. 3V2 in. 
(8.9 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, reign of Shilhak-Inshushinak, 
ca. 1140 B.C. 
Sb 1619 

Excavated by Morgan. 

186 Brick with stamped Elamite inscription 
of Shilhak-Inshushinak I 

Baked clay 

H. iy/ 8 in. (33.3 cm); w. 13 in. (33 cm); a 3 7 /s in. 
(9.9 cm) 

Middle Elamite period, reign of Shilhak-Inshushinak, 
ca. 1140 B.C. 
Sb 1626 

Excavated by Morgan. 

When Elamite rulers of Susa built or rebuilt tem- 
ples, they commemorated their work as Mesopota- 
mian rulers did, with inscriptions placed on the very 
bricks from which the structures were made. Most 


of the inscribed bricks of the sukkalmahs and the 
Middle Elamite kings have their texts on the narrow 
edges of the bricks, so that they could be laid with 
the text visible on. the exposed face of the wall. They 
were sometimes produced by the hundreds to be laid 
in ornamental bands, panels, or corners, with the 
same inscription repeated many times. They were 
most often written by hand, each scribe writing the 
same text on brick after brick, one at a time. 

Number 186 is an exception. The text is not 
handwritten but impressed with a stamp, probably 
made of baked clay, that had a mirror image of the 
text in raised relief; also, the stamp was applied not 
to the edge but to the face. In the text, written in 
Elamite, Shilhak-Inshushinak I (ca. 1140 B.C.) com- 
memorates his building work. He states his name 
and the name of his father, the king Shutruk- 
Nahhunte I, but he claims no title for himself be- 
yond "beloved servant of Inshushinak" (the chief god 
of Susa). When the temple of Inshushinak, built of 
plain brick, fell into ruins, he says, he rebuilt it with 
baked brick and decorated its gateway with glazed 
bricks and gilded beams, dedicating the work to his 
god, Inshushinak, not only on his own behalf but 
also on behalf of his consort, Nahhunte-utu, and 
their children. He reinscribed on newly made bricks 

Historical Economic, and Legal Texts | 267 

the names and titles of earlier kings who had built 
the temples, and put them into the construction. He 
closes with an invocation of Inshushinak. 1 

Once this brick was laid, the text on its face 
could not be seen until the temple began to fall into 
ruins again. Then, a later ruler could see it and 
know whose work it was that needed to be restored, 
and could restore not just the structure but the in- 
scription too, as Shilhak-Inshushinak had done with 
the inscriptions of his predecessors. 

Number 185 illustrates what Shilhak-Inshushinak 
meant. The first eleven lines, partly damaged, are a 
copy of an inscription by the sukkalmah Kuk- 
kirmash (ca. 1950 B.C.) in Sumerian and Akkadian 
in which the ruler states that he did not disturb the 
temple, already ancient in his day, but restored the 
temple precinct for Inshushinak with a construction 
of baked brick. Exemplars of the original text on 
Kuk-kirmash's own bricks, found by modern investi- 
gators of Susa, confirm that Shilhak-Inshushinak:? 
copy of it on this brick is faithful. The balance of 
the inscription is in Shilhak-Inshushinak's own 
words, in Elamite. After giving his name and pa- 
tronym, again with no royal title, he states that 
Kuk-kirmash had built a shrine for Inshushinak and 
that when it had decayed, he, Shilhak-Inshushinak, 
rebuilt its brickwork, restoring the inscription of 
Kuk-kirmash to its place and putting his own in- 
scription there as well. Again he offers the work 
on his own behalf and on behalf of his spouse, 
Nahhunte-utu, and their family, and he closes with 
an invocation, not of the god, but of the deceased 
ruler Kuk-kirmash. 2 Similar texts commemorate 
Shilhak-Inshushinak's restoration of constructions 
by other sukkalmahs.i 

The text of Number 185, written by hand, covers 
three edges of the brick, so that only part of it could 
have been visible in a wall surface or corner. Two or 
three identical bricks, laid next to each other in dif- 
ferent orientations, would have been needed to dis- 
play the complete text. 


1. The text was first published by Scheil, 1901, pp. 66ft, no. 48, 
and edited by Konig, 1965, pp. 86f., no. 35. The most recent 
edition, with a grammatical analysis and French translation, is 
by Frangoise Grillot-Susini, Elements de grammaire elamite, 
Synthese No. 29 (Paris, 1987), pp. $6i. t no. 7. 

2. The brick of Shilhak-Inshushinak was first published by 
Scheil, Textes elamites-anzanites , Deuxieme serie, MDP 5 
(1904), pp. 56ff., no. 78. The Elamite text was edited with a 
German translation by Konig, 1965, pp. 88f., no. 38. The 
original inscribed bricks of Kuk-kirmash, first published by 

Scheil, 1900, pp. 74ff., and edited by Francois Thureau- 
Dangin, Die sumerischen und akkadischen Konigsinschriften, 
Vorderasiatische Bibliothek, vol. 1, part 1 (Leipzig, 1907), 
pp. 1821., no. 5, are available in a contemporary French trans- 
lation by Sollberger and Kupper, 1971, P- 264, nos. IVO11, 

3. See Konig, 1965, pp. 89ft., nos. 38a, 38b, 39; Sollberger and 
Kupper, 1971, pp. 262 no. IV08b, 264 no. IVOiob. 



H. i 5 /s in. (4.1 cm); w. y/s in. (9.8 cm) 
Impressed by a seal of h. 3 A in. (1.8 cm) 
Neo-Elamite period, ca. 600 B.C. 
Apadana; Sb i3oyy 

188 Neo- Elamite administrative tablet with 
seal impression 


H. 2 in. (5.2 cm); w. 3 in. (7.6 cm) 
Impressed by a seal of H. Vsin. (1.6 cm) 
Neo-Elamite period, ca. 600 B.C. 
Acropole; Sb 12804 

Number 187 belongs to a group of seven tablets ex- 
cavated in 1909 on the Apadana mound, below the 
remains of the Achaemenid palace; Number 188, to 
a group of 299 tablets excavated in 1901 on the 
Acropole. The script and language of both groups 
are Neo-Elamite, but none of the associated texts 
mentions a regnal year of any securely dated ruler. 
The dates assigned to the groups rely on the seal im- 
pressions found on some of the tablets and on the ar- 
chaeological contexts of similar seal impressions. 
Both groups date to a time at the end of the seventh 
century B.C. and the first part of the sixth century 
between the catastrophic Assyrian raids on Susa and 
the moment when the Achaemenids assumed power 
and began to make Susa one of the political centers 
of their empire. These modest archives are evidence 
for the revival in that interval of an Elamite mon- 
archy at Susa, whose control probably extended at 
least to easternmost Khuzistan. 1 

The texts from the Apadana are legal documents: 
contracts drawn up among private citizens, wit- 
nessed, signed by the scribe, and sealed. As such 
they are a rarity among known texts in Elamite. 

268 | The Written Record 


Most are promissory notes for silver and gold, but 
Number 188 is a receipt for sheep, perhaps part of a 
herding agreement. Following the main body of each 
text is a list of witnesses, then a closing section that 
names the scribe who wrote the tablet (in Number 
188, he is named Bakish) and the man whose seal 
was impressed on the tablet (in Number 187, Nap- 
dutash [or Nap-dur], the first of the witnesses). 2 

The texts from the Acropole, including Number 
188, are administrative texts, full of uncertainties. 
Most deal with textiles, leather items, and tools, 
weapons, utensils, and vessels of bronze, iron, silver, 
and gold. They record outlays and receipts of mate- 
rials, receipts of finished goods, and other transfers. 
Two are envelopes, probably from administrative 
memoranda sent in from elsewhere to be archived at 
Susa. Many name a single man as the responsible 
official, so the archive covers a short period of time. 
Most indicate a month, but not the day or regnal 
year, so they may reflect a practice of monthly au- 
dits. Many also name a place at or near the end of 
the text, evidently to indicate the place where the 
text was written. Susa itself is by far the most fre- 
quently named, but some of the other places are also 
named in other Elamite and Mesopotamian texts. 
The place named at the end of Number 188 and of 

several other texts in the archive — Bupila — is called 
Bubilu by Ashurbanipal, who lists it among the 
royal cities of Elam that he captured and destroyed. 
The seal impressed on Number 188 was also applied 
to other texts in the archive, some of which name 
Susa at the end; therefore, if the texts were drawn 
up at Bupila and Susa, those towns were close 
enough for the user of the seal to move easily be- 
tween them. Other texts in the archive, however, 
were drawn up in more distant places and show that 
the administrative province for which these records 
were kept at Susa extended east and south at least to 
the mountains that separate Khuzistan from Fars.3 

Both tablets bear the impressions of small cylin- 
der seals. The reverse of Number 187 has several in- 
complete impressions of a delicately carved scene 
showing a standing robed figure, his hands out- 
stretched, probably toward a quadruped approaching 
him; part of the owner's name and patronym, writ- 
ten in Neo-Elamite signs, is in the field above. The 
seal on Number 188 shows two bull-men with their 
arms raised on either side of their heads, facing each 
other and separated by a slightly smaller human fig- 
ure in a tunic, whose hands are raised to grasp the 
bull-men's biceps. 


Historical Economic, and Legal Texts 

1. See Miroschedji, 1982, pp. 57-59, 621.; Francois Vallat, 
"Kidin-Hutran et l'epoque neo-elamite/' Akkadica 37 (1984)/ 

PP- 7—9; M.-J. Steve, "La fin de l'Elam: a propos d'une em- 
preinte de sceau-cylindre," Studia Iranica 15 (1986), pp. ji. f 
131.; Miroschedji, 1990, pp. 78-81. 

2. The primary publication of Number 187 is by V Scheil, 
Textes elamites-anzanites, Quatrieme serie, MDP 11 (1911), 
pp. 99L, no. 307; the seal impression is published by Amiet, 
1973a, p. 28 and pi. y no. 19. 

3. Number 188 was first published by V Scheil, Textes elamites- 
anzanites, Troisieme serie, MDP 9 (1907), pp. 37f. and pi. i, 
no. 34; the seal is published by Amiet, 1973a, p. 27 and pi. ii, 
no. 7. Texts impressed with the same seal that name Susa at 
the end are MDP 9: 16, 75, 119, 135, and 217. General inter- 
pretations of this administrative archive are offered by Y. B. 
Yusifov, "Elamskie khoziaistvennye dokumenti iz Suz" 
(Elamite economic documents from Susa), Vestnik Drevneii 
Istorii 84 (1963, no. 2), pp. 191-222, and 85 (1963, no. 3), 
pp. 200-261; and Walther Hinz, "Zu den Zeughaustafelchen 
aus Susa," in G. Wiessner, ed., Festschrift fur Wilhelm Eilers 
(Wiesbaden, 1967), pp. 85-98. 

189 Prism of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, 
describing his campaigns against elam 
and the pillage of susa (prism f) 

Six-sided, pierced in the center from top to bottom 
Baked clay 

h. 13 in. (33 cm); w. each side, y/s in. (8 cm) 
Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Ashurbanipal, 646 or 
643 B.C. 

Nineveh; AO 19939 

Each year the Assyrian kings conducted campaigns 
at the order of their dynastic god, Ashur, and had 
their exploits recorded by scribes. Several prisms 
bear historical texts concerning the military cam- 
paigns of Ashurbanipal (668-627 B *c.)- These were 
foundation documents buried in the walls of build- 
ings. Each document concentrates on recent cam- 
paigns, with a reminder of earlier events. "Prism F" 1 
focuses almost entirely on the king's wars against 
Elam. 2 The text was recopied and appears on several 
clay tablets, cylinders, and prisms. 3 No mention is 
made of the first military expeditions of 667 B.C. 
and 664 B.C. against the king Urtaku (whose name 
in Elamite is unknown). However, on the bottom of 
side 2 (lines 53ft) and on sides 3, 4, and 5, a de- 
scription appears of Ashurbanipars later campaigns: 
against Te-Umman (Tepti-Humban-Inshushinak in 
Elamite) in 653 B.C., and thereafter against Um- 
manaldash (Humban-altash III), who had seized the 
throne of Elam and supported the revolt of Ashur- 
banipal's brother, Shamash-shum-ukin, the king of 
Babylon, against Ashurbanipal. These events led to 
the pillage of Susa, which took place in 647 B.C. or 
646 B.C. 4 and was probably recorded the following 

The fourth and fifth sides give a lengthy descrip- 
tion of the sack of Susa, the destruction of the city, 
and the deportation of the inhabitants and their gods 
to Assyria. The description of the city's treasures is 
remarkably precise; mention is even made of the 
booty brought home from Mesopotamia by the 
early Elamite kings. With quickening pace the text 
illustrates the mounting violence that culminated in 
the total devastation of Susa: 

[. . .] Ummanaldash, king of Elam, fled naked and 
took refuge in the mountain [...]. Susa, the great 
holy city, abode of their gods, seat of their mysteries, 
I conquered according to the word of Ashur and Ish- 
tar. I entered its palaces, I dwelt there in rejoicing; I 
opened the treasures where silver and gold, goods and 

Historical, Economic, and Legal Texts | 271 

wealth were amassed [. . .] the treasures of Sumer, 
Akkad, and Babylon that the ancient kings of Elam 
had looted and carried away [. . .]. I destroyed the 
ziggurat of Susa [...]; I smashed its shining copper 
horns. [In]shushinak, god of the oracles, who resides 
in secret places, where no man sees his divine nature 
[along with the gods that surround him], with their 
jewelry their wealth, their furniture, with the priests, 
I brought as booty to the land of Ashur [. . .]. I re- 
duced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods, their 
goddesses, I scattered to the winds. The secret groves 
where no outsider had ever penetrated, where no lay- 
man had ever trod, my soldiers entered, they saw 
their mysteries, they destroyed them by fire. The 
tombs of their ancient and recent kings who had not 
feared [the goddess] Ishtar, my lady and who were 
the cause of torments to the kings, my fathers — those 
tombs I devastated, I destroyed, I exposed to the sun, 
and I carried away their bones toward the land of 
Ashur. [. . .] I devastated the provinces of Elam and 
[on their lands] I spread salt [. . .] 


Aynard, 1957. 

The first campaigns that are related on prism F's first side and 
on the beginning of the second, against Egypt, the king of 

Tyre, and the Manneans, are found in all of Ashurbanipal's 
later historical texts, for they symbolize the victories of Ashur 
over the regions to the south, west, and north of Assyria. The 
last side recounts the restoration of the palace of Nineveh, the 

3. See the list in Mordechai Cogan, 'Ashurbanipal Prism F: 
Notes on Scribal Techniques and Editorial Procedures," JCS 29 

PP- 97-107. 

4. For a detailed study of the chronology, see A. K. Grayson, 
"The chronology of the reign of Ashurbanipal/' ZA 70 (1981), 

pp. 227-45. 

190 Tablet with Old Persian text of the 
"Foundation Charter" of the palace of 
Darius at Susa 


H. 8 7 /s in. (22.5 cm); w. io 3 /s in. (26.5 cm); d. 1 in. 
(2.5 cm) 

Achaemenid period, reign of Darius I, ca. 518 B.C. 
Sb 2789 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

The text DSf, sometimes called the Foundation 
Charter of Susa, was drawn up for the Achaemenid 

272 I The Written Record 

Persian king Darius I (522-486 B.C.) in three 
languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Akkadian. 
This damaged tablet is the best preserved exemplar 
of the Old Persian version. 1 

The inscription commemorates the building 
of the Achaemenid palace at Susa. It invokes 
Ahura Mazda, the god who created earth, heaven, 
mankind, and the king, Darius; recites the titulature 
and descent of Darius, the Achaemenid; and then 
introduces the balance of the text as the words of 
Darius himself. The king tells that Ahura Mazda 
bestowed the empire on him while his father, Hy- 
staspes, and his grandfather, Arsames, were both still 
living. His palace at Susa was built of materials 
brought from afar, and he describes the earliest 
stages in the construction, the materials used, and 
the peoples and nations that took part in transport- 
ing the materials and working them. Babylonian 
workers dug a foundation pit and filled it with 
packed rubble. Timber was brought from Lebanon in 
the west and from Gandhara and Carmania in the 
east; gold from Sardis in the west and Bactria in the 
east; ivory from Egypt and Ethiopia in the west and 
from Sind and Arachosia in the east, and so on; 
the stone columns were quarried nearby, in Elam. 
Among the craftsmen were stonecutters from Ionia 
and Sardis, goldsmiths from Media and Egypt, 
woodworkers from Sardis and Egypt, brickmasons 
from Babylonia, and so on. Exclaiming how excel- 
lent was the work ordered at Susa and how excellent 
the work that was done, Darius closes the text with a 
prayer for Ahura Mazda's protection of himself and 
his father, Hystaspes. 

DSf is one of the earliest of Darius's inscriptions, 
composed immediately after his rise to power. Stone 
tablets with monolingual Elamite and Akkadian 
texts similar to DSf were excavated in the founda- 
tions of the palace walls themselves, 2 but none of the 
exemplars of DSf itself was found in situ; in fact, 
fragments of many exemplars of the Old Persian, 
Elamite, and Akkadian versions were found in many 
parts of the Apadana and Ville Royale. 3 They are in- 
scribed on large baked clay tablets like this one, on 
larger stone blocks, on clay barrel-cylinders, and on 
glazed bricks. Some of the cylinders and stone 
blocks and even some of the tablets may have been 
buried in the foundations, but the glazed bricks 
formed part of a decorative frieze on the walls of the 
palace: at least some versions of the inscription were 
meant to be seen. 

Ancient visitors who saw and understood the in- 
scription, or who had it read to them, would have 
had no difficulty finding the political meaning in 
this description of precious materials carried from 
afar and worked by men of many nations. The pal- 
ace was the emblem of the empire, its workmanship 
the token of the order to which the subject peoples 
submitted, its precious materials a sample of the 
tribute that order would cost. Conspicuous by their 
absence as contributors, transporters, or workers are 
the Persians, the rulers themselves. 

This delicate omission and the nuances of this 
message stand in plain contrast to the starker terms 
of Darius's later inscriptions, both from Susa (DSe) 
and from Persepolis and nearby Naqsh-i Rustam in 
Persia proper. At the beginning of his reign, with 
his power newly imposed and delicately poised, 
Darius had his scribes write: "This palace which I 
built at Susa, its building materials were brought 
from far away." On his tomb at Naqsh-i Rustam, 
however, he was to portray his rule more bluntly: 
"If now you wonder 'How many are the countries 
which King Darius held?' look at the sculptures of 
those who carry the throne [depicted on the facade 
of the tomb], then you will know, then it will be 
clear to you : the spear of the Persian has gone forth 
far. "4 


1. The first edition of this exemplar is by Scheil (1929b, 
pp. i8ff., pis. 8, 9); editions of all three versions, and the 
primary publications of the exemplars then known, are given 
on pp. 3-34. These are supplemented by Scheil, 1933, 

pp. 105-14, and by Steve, 1974/ pp. 135-61, and Francois 
Vallat, "Un Fragment de tablette achemenide et la turquoise," 
Akkadica 33 (1983), pp. 63-68. The standard English edition 
of the Old Persian text is Kent, 1953, pp. 142-44, with addi- 
tions from Steve, 1974, pp. 145-47. The standard edition of 
the Elamite version is Francois Vallat, "Deux inscriptions 
elamites de Darius I er (DSf et DSz)," Studia Iranica 1 (1972), 
pp. 8-11; the standard edition of the Akkadian version is 
Steve, 1974, pp. 155-61. 

2. For DSz (Elamite): Francois Vallat, "Table elamite de Darius 
I er ," RA 64 (1970), pp. 149-60, and idem, "Deux inscrip- 
tions," pp. 10-13; other probable exemplars of the Elamite 
version and fragments of a probable Old Persian version are 
treated by Steve, 1974, pp. 161-68. For DSaa (Akkadian): 
Francois Vallat, "Table accadienne de Darius I er (DSaa)," in 
MM-/S, pp. 277-85. 

3. The manuscripts are listed in Steve, 1974, pp. 135-36 (thirteen 
Old Persian pieces), 147 (twelve Elamite pieces), and 151 
(twenty-six Akkadian pieces). 

4. DNa §4: see Kent, 1953, p. 138. 

Historical Economic, and Legal Texts \ 273 

191 Elamite administrative tablet with 
impression of a royal name seal 


H. 1V2 in. (3.8 cm); w. i 7 /s in. (4.8 cm); D. 1 in. 
(2.5 cm) 

Impressed by a seal of H. V 4 in. (1.8 cm) 
Achaemenid period, reign of Darius 1, regnal year 
22 = 500/499 B.C. 
Sb 130J8 

The great epigrapher Vincent Scheil made this un- 
prepossessing document known in 1911, but even he 
could make little sense of it then except to recognize 
its contents as administrative, its language as Elam- 
ite, and its date — clear from the incomplete seal 
impression — as Achaemenid. 1 Only after Elamite 
administrative texts were excavated in the fortifica- 
tion wall at Persepolis in 1934, and a large sample of 
those texts was published in 1969, could the contents 
and historical context of this tablet be better under- 
stood. 2 It is a record of oil disbursed "on behalf of 
the king/' in Susa and five villages, in the twenty- 
second regnal year; the king (unnamed in the text) 
is Darius I, so the date is 500/499 B.C. The seal im- 
pression on the tablet shows a figure in crown and 
Persian robe grasping in each outstretched hand the 
horn of a winged bull, the scene framed by palm 
trees on both sides and with the winged disk of 
Ahura Mazda in the field overhead. 3 The archive of 
administrative texts from the Persepolis fortification 
wall includes many texts of the same formal type. 4 

Recently, an ongoing study of the seal impres- 
sions on the Persepolis texts led to a startling obser- 
vation: the impression on this tablet was made by 
precisely the same seal that was applied to some of 
the Persepolis texts of the same type.^ Furthermore, 
impressions on the Persepolis tablets show that the 
seal was inscribed in Old Persian, Elamite, and Bab- 
ylonian: "I, Darius, the King [in the Babylonian 
version: Great King]/' 6 In fact, impressions of this 
seal appear only on texts of this administrative cate- 
gory, texts that record the disbursal of royal provi- 
sions. The seal indicates that the disbursal was 
authorized by an office or officer in general charge 
of the royal food supply. If this tablet was indeed 
found at Susa^ it is an extraordinary indication of 
the range of that office's administrative jurisdiction. 


1. V. Scheil, Textes elamites-anzanites, Quatrieme serie, MDP 
11 (1911), pp. 89, 101, no. 308. 

191, two views 

2. Richard T. Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets, OIP 92 
(Chicago, 1969), p. 25. 

3. On the seal impression, Persepolis Fortification seal 7, see 
ibid., p. 78; idem, 'The Use of Seals on the Persepolis Forti- 
fication Tablets," in McG. Gibson and R. D. Biggs, eds., Seals 
and Sealing in the Ancient Near East, BM 6 (Malibu, 1977), 
p. 128. 

4. Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets (PF 691-740 and 
2033-35); idem, "Selected Fortification Texts/' DAFl 8 (1978), 
p. 118 (PFa 6 and many unpublished examples); on the text- 
type (category J), see Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets, 
p. 24. 

5. M. B. Garrison, "Seals and the Elite at Persepolis: Some Ob- 
servations on Early Achaemenid Persian Art," Ars Orientalis 
(in press); idem, "A Persepolis Fortification Tablet Seal at 
Susa" (in preparation). 

6. Manfred Mayrhofer, Supplement zur Sammlung der altper- 
sischen Inschriften, Sitzungsberichte der Osterreichischen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, 328 
(Vienna, 1978), p. 16 3.11.1.; Riidiger Schmitt, Altpersische 
Siegelinschriften, Sitzungsberichte der Osterreichischen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, 381 
(Vienna, 1981), p. 22 SDe. 

7. Although the tablet was recovered by the Susa mission, there 
is no record of its excavation or provenience. 

274 I The Written Record 

Literary, Ritual, and Mathematical Texts 


192 Tablet with part of an Old Babylonian 
version of the legend of etana 


H. 4V4 in. (12 cm); w. 3 in. (7.5 cm) 
Old Babylonian period, lyth century B.C. 
Sb 9469 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

Among the first kings who ruled after the Deluge, 
according to the Sumerian King List, was "Etana the 
shepherd, who ascended to heaven/' Among the den- 
izens of the Netherworld, according to the Epic of 
Gilgamesh, was the same Etana. 1 Ancient listeners 
knew the allusion. Portrayals of. Etana, who rode to 
heaven on an eagle's back, appear on Old Akkadian 
cylinder seals from Mesopotamia and Iran (fig. 5 7); 2 
manuscripts of a mythological tale about Etana were 
drafted by Old Babylonian and Middle Assyrian 
scribes; and copies of a first-millennium retelling of 
it were kept in the libraries of Nineveh. 3 The later 
version is listed in a catalogue of literary works from 
the Nineveh libraries as 'The Series of Etana, by 
Lu-Nanna," immediately after "The Series of Gilga- 
mesh, by Sin-leqe-unninni."4 The Susa tablet, 
found in the Mecquenem excavations before 1927, is 
a manuscript of the old version, probably late Old 
Babylonian (ca. 1600 B.C.), and like the Susa frag- 
ments of the Sumerian King List, it probably came 
from the hand of a student in a scribal academy 

The fragments of the tale as we have it are dis- 
jointed, but they weave together tales of gods and 

Figure 57. Modern impression 
of a seal depicting the myth of 
Etana. Seal: Akkadian period, 
ca. 2200 B.C. Black serpentine, 
H. iY, in. (3.65 cm). The Pier- 
pont Morgan Library, New York. 
PML 236 E 

Library, Ritual, and Mathematical Texts | 275 

men with an animal fable. They tell how the gods 
made Etana the first king; how he sought the Plant 
of Birth to get an heir; how an eagle formed a pact 
with a serpent but broke its oath and was punished 
by the sun god; how Etana befriended the eagle and 
rode to heaven like the Greek mythological figure 

In the Susa manuscript, Etana himself does not 
appear. The fragment tells some of the story of the 
serpent and the eagle: they swore an oath of friend- 
ship and then brought forth their young, the serpent 
at the base of a poplar tree, the eagle in its branches; 
the serpent hunted and brought in game to feed the 
eagle's young as well as its own; when the serpent's 
young were grown, the eagle broke its oath and de- 
voured them, against the warnings of its own off- 
spring; the grieving serpent cried for vengeance to 
the sun god, who empowers oaths. Here the Susa 
text breaks off. It is another Old Babylonian manu- 
script that tells of the eagle's punishment and its 
meeting with Etana. MWS 

1. Jacobsen, 1939, pp. 8of. line 16. For Gilgamesh VII iv 49: 
see, most recently, Maureen Gallery Kovacs, The Epic of 
Gilgamesh (Stanford, 1989), p. 65, line 192. 

2. See Porada, 1965, p. 4if., fig. 16; Collon, 1987, pp. 178-81. 

3. J. V Kinnier Wilson, The Legend of Etana, a New Edition 
(Warminster, England, 1985), includes a full description of the 
manuscripts, a proposed reconstruction of the Akkadian texts 
of the several versions, English translations, commentaries, 
and a survey of older editions and translations. Another recent 
reconstruction and English translation of the first-millennium 
version appears in Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Meso- 
potamia (Oxford, 1989), pp. 190-202. 

4. W. G. Lambert, 'A Catalogue of Texts and Authors/' JCS 16 
(1962), p. 66f., lines nf. Lu-Nanna may be the sage who lived 
at Ur in the reign of Shulgi, commemorated in Sumerian lit- 
erary tradition: see W. G. Lambert, 'Ancestors, Authors, and 
Canonicity/' JCS 11 (1957), p. 7, and Kinnier Wilson, The 
Legend of Etana, p. 27, 

193 Funerary tablet 


H. lYs in. (3.4 cm); w. 3 in. (7.7 cm); D. lVs in. 
(2.8 cm) 

End of the Sukkalmah period, ca. 1500 B.C. 
Sb 19319 

Excavated by Mecquenem, 1914. 

A tomb dating to the middle of the second millen- 
nium, built of brick, was discovered below the palace 
of Darius in 1914 by Roland de Mecquenem. A 
small compartment adjoining the tomb contained 
seven small tablets. 

In this tablet, 1 the dead man seems to invoke his 
protecting deity: 

Come, and I shall go, O god my master. ... I shall 
take thy hand before the supreme gods; hearing my 
sentence, I shall grasp thy feet. Illuminating the 
house of shadows, O my god, thou shalt help me 
cross the swamp of weakness and pain. In this place 
of difficulties, thou shalt keep watch over me. Thou 
shalt slake my thirst with water and oil in this 
parched field. 

The text of the other tablets is obscure; it is pos- 
sible that it bears upon the voyage of the deceased 
toward the underworld and his judgment, or even a 
reward, as in this passage: 

He shall see [the goddess]. May she bestow upon thee 
the abundant oil, the excellent oil, and fill thy mouth 
with it ! May the god be propitious to thee ! 


1. Scheil, 1916, pp. 165-74; Georges Dossin, 'Autres textes 
sumeriens et accadiens," MDP 18 (1927), p. 88, no. 250; Bot- 
tero, 1982, pp. 393-406. 

276 I The Written Record 

194 Tablet illustrating a method for 
calculating the areas of regular 
polygons, in Akkadian 


H. 4V4 in. (12.2 cm); w. 4V4 in. (12.2 cm); D. 1 in. 
(2.6 cm) 

Old Babylonian period, lyth century B.C. 
Sb 13088 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 

195 Multiplication table 


H. 2V4 in. (5.8 cm); w. i 3 / 4 in. (4.5 cm); D. 7 /s in. 
(2.2 cm) 

Old Babylonian period, 17th century B.C. 
Sb 13090 

Excavated by Mecquenem. 


l0 o 

/ A - 30 x 40 \ \ 
/ = 20 00 \ \ 

a = 40 ^ 

r \ <s / 
\ v /I 

\ M f 

\ / N v 

D = 1 40 = 100 

In 1933 Mecquenem's excavations found a group of 
twenty-six mathematical tablets on the Ville Royale. 

Figure 58. Derivation of the constant for calculating the area of a 
regular five-sided figure. Numbers in light type are decimal; num- 
bers in bold type are sexagesimal. 

Library, Ritual, and Mathematical Texts I 277 

Their archaeological context was badly disturbed, 
but the forms of the cuneiform signs date them to 
the Old Babylonian period (ca. 1600 B.C.), roughly 
contemporary with the writing exercises and schol- 
arly texts found in other parts of the Ville Royale 
and with a large number of the known mathematical 
texts from Babylonia. 1 Some of the Susa texts are 
simple, others surprisingly sophisticated. 

Number 195 is a simple multiplication table giv- 
ing products of the number 25 : the multiplier is in 
the left column, the product in the right column. 
The numbers are expressed in sexagesimal place 
value notation, using "sexagesimal double digits/' 

In our decimal place value notation, based on 10, 
each digit is a whole number smaller than 10, with 
its position indicating a power of 10: e.g., 123 = 
(3 X 10° = 3) + (2 x 10 1 = 20) + (1 x 10 2 = 
100). Similarly, in the Babylonian sexagesimal nota- 
tion, each digit is a whole number smaller than 6o, 
with its position indicating a power of 60: e.g., sex- 
agesimal 1 2 3 = (3 x 6o°) + (2 x 60 1 ) + (1 x 
60 2 ) = decimal 3 + 120 -f 3,600 = decimal 3,723. 
But each digit — that is, each number below 60 — is 
written in decimal form, with vertical wedges indi- 
cating ones and angle wedges indicating tens, from 

i(T)to 5 9(^f )• 

So, the first two lines of Number 195, with the 
first two products of 25, read simply 1 — 25, 2 — 50. 
But the third and following lines show the sexagesi- 
mal double digits: 3 — 1 15 (i.e., decimal 60 + 15), 
4 — 1 40 (i.e., decimal 60 + 40), 5 — 2 5 (i.e., decimal 
120 + 5), an d so on. 

A decimal multiplication table needs only eight 
entries, giving products for multipliers from 2 to 9. 
A complete sexagesimal table would need fifty-eight, 
giving products for multipliers from 2 to 59. This 
table (like other Old Babylonian multiplication ta- 
bles) is abbreviated, giving products for multipliers 
from 1 to 20, then for 30, 40, and 50, so that the 
missing products can be obtained by a single addi- 
tion of two entries. 2 

The geometrical tablet Number 194 illustrates 
the use of arithmetic constants to calculate the areas 
of regular six- and seven-sided figures ("polygon" is 
a slightly misleading term, for in Babylonian math- 
ematics the figures are conceived as multisided 
rather than as multiangled). The constants are listed 
in another tablet from the same group: for a five- 
sided figure (in sexagesimal form) 1 40, for a six- 
sided figure 2 37 30, for a seven-sided figure 3 41 
(00). 3 The length of a side of the figure multiplied 


by the appropriate constant produces the area of the 

The derivation of these constants is easiest to il- 
lustrate for the five-sided figure (fig. 58). Consider 
the figure to be inscribed in a circle and stipulate as 
an approximation that the perimeter of the figure is 
identical to the circumference of the circle. Let each 
side of the figure = 1 00 (decimal 60). Then the pe- 
rimeter of the figure = 5 00 (decimal 300) « the 
circumference of the circle. Assume 77 — 3 (the 
common approximation in Babylonian mathematical 
texts, still common in Hellenistic mathematical 
texts). Then 7tD ~ 3D = 5 00. Then D = 1 40 
(decimal 100), r = 50. Then the figure is composed 
of five identical triangles, each with sides 1 oo, 50, 
50 (decimal 60, 50, 50). Bisecting one of these trian- 
gles with an altitude from the center gives two right 
triangles, each with a side 30 and a hypotenuse 50; 
each is therefore a 10 X (3,4,5) right triangle. The 
area of each double triangle is half the base multi- 
plied by the altitude, hence 30 X 40. The area of the 
whole five-sided figure with a side of length 1 00 is 
then A 5 = 5 X 30 X 40 = 1 40 00 (decimal 
6,000), the constant listed in the table. 

The corresponding area constants for the other 
figures are obtained similarly, using approximations 

278 ! The Written Record 

of square roots: for the six-sided figure A 6 = 6 X 
30 x 30V3 (with the approximation V3 = i;45 
[decimal 1.75]) ~ 6 X 30 X 30 X i;45 = 6 X 26 
15 = 2 37 30; for the seven-sided figure A y — 7 X 
30 X 20V10 (with the approximation \/io — 3; 10 
[decimal 3.1616...]) ~ 7 X 30 X 20 X 3;io = 7 
X 31 40 — 3 41 40, rounded to ~ 3 41 (00). 4 

Number 194 illustrates these relationships for a 
six-sided figure on the obverse and for a seven-sided 
figure on the reverse, in each case at half-scale, that 
is, with each side of each figure equal to 30 (i.e., 
half of 1 00). Parts of the circles around the figures 
are lightly indicated; the identical triangles are 
clearly indicated, one bisected by an altitude. The 
diagram of the six-sided figure indicates the length 
of one side, 30. The length of a radius is indicated 
on each side: 30 for the six-sided figure and 35 for 
the seven-sided figure. The length of the altitude 
was indicated but is broken off. 

The diagram of the six-sided figure gives the 
area of one of the equilateral triangles: 6 33 45. ^ 
The diagram of the seven-sided figure includes in- 
structions for the computation: "[for a] seven- [sided 
figure] you multiply (the length of one side) by four 

and subtract one twelfth and (the result is) the 
area" — that is, the constant for the seven-sided fig- 
ure has been rounded down from 3 41 to 3 40, ex- 
pressed as four minus one-twelfth of four (4 — Y12 
— 3 2 / 3 = sexagesimal 3 40). 


1. On the date of the Susa tablets, see Tanret, 1986, pp. 140-41. 
Excellent English-language surveys of cuneiform mathematical 
texts in general are J. Friberg, "Mathematik," RLA, vol. 7, part 
7-8 (Berlin, 1990), pp. 531-85, and the classic O. Neugebauer, 
The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, 2nd ed. (New York, 1969), 

pp. 29-70. The primary edition of Numbers 194 and 195 is E. 
M. Bruins and M. Rutten, Textes mathematiques de Suse, MDP 
34 (1961), pp. 23tf. with pis. iif., 2f., no. II, 35 with pi. 6, no. IV K. 

2. See O. Neugebauer and A. Sachs, Mathematical Cuneiform 
Texts, American Oriental Series, no. 29 (New Haven, 1945), 
pp. 19-24; Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, pp. 
3if.; Friberg, RLA, vol. 7, pp. 545^ 

3. MDP 34, no. Ill 26-28. 

4. Friberg, RLA, vol. 7, p. 557. 

5. Where a = altitude of the triangle and A = area of the trian- 
gle, and A 6 = area of the polygon: a 2 = 30* - 15 2 = 11 15 
(decimal 675); a = 15V3 ~ *5 x i;45 (decimal 1.75) = 26 
15. A = 15a = 15 X 26 15 = 6 33^5 (decimal 393.75). A 6 = 
6A = 6 X 6 33;45 = 39 22;30 (decimal 2,362.5). 

Shell Ivory, and Bone Artifacts 

.Recent investigations of ancient Near Eastern objects 
made of shell, ivory, and bone have combined the 
analytic methodologies of natural science and archae- 
ology. It is especially difficult to determine the precise 
material of these objects because of their diminutive 
size and because they have frequently been so exten- 
sively polished or eroded that the original anatomical 
form of the material is completely transformed. Of- 
ten, wear and modern restorations prevent analysis 
altogether. When identification is possible, however, it 
opens the way to new classifications that shed light on 
trade in raw materials and finished products over long 
distances. In this field, Francois Poplin's investigations 
of worked calcareous animal material and, more par- 
ticularly, of ivory artifacts 1 have provided an invalu- 
able complement to the pioneering research of M. Tosi 
and R. Biscione 2 on the shell industry of the ancient 
Near East. We are particularly indebted to Francois 
Poplin, of the National Museum of Natural History in 
Paris, who generously agreed to study the works from 
Susa for this exhibition. 

At Susa as in Mesopotamia, shell was the most 
extensively worked type of calcareous animal mate- 
rial. Ivory was extremely rare, and the use of bone was 
limited to utilitarian objects such as tools, until the 
bone "dolls" of the Parthian period. Shellfish were im- 
ported from the Arabo- Persian Gulf, a region with 
which southwestern Iran had long-standing trade re- 

lations. At first, shellfish (in particular, Conus ebraeus 
and dentalium) were used in the manufacture of jew- 
elry, with the shells simply perforated or crosscut to 
make beads or rings. 

In the third millennium B.C. the Susians began 
creating other objects from shell, such as mosaic 
plaques, although these were not as common in Susa 
as in Mesopotamia (a Mesopotamian example is the 
'standard of Ur"). The neighing equid, Sb 5631,3 a 
remarkable piece both in workmanship and in choice 
of imagery, is probably an element of a mosaic plaque. 
That type of inlaid plaque was manufactured using 
traditional flint tools, including small drills and 
blades. ^ In the Early Dynastic period the use of shell 
became more widespread, especially that of the colu- 
mella of large gastropods from the Gulf, which served 
as an inexpensive material for cylinder seals carved 
with schematic eye or fish motifs. 5 

A more unusual example is the large bracelet made 
of a Fasciolaria trapezium. Such bracelets were a spe- 
ciality of the workshops of the great centers to the east 
such as Mohenjo-Daro, Balakot, and Lothal, which 
imported the shells from the Gulf of Oman and the 
coast of Makran and exported the finished products to 
eastern Iran, Susa, and Mesopotamia. The presence of 
the bracelet in Susa provides irrefutable proof of trade 
with the Indus Valley. 6 

The exceptional skill of Susian craftsmen in work- 

2 79 

280 I Technical Appendix 

ing shell — which, unlike ivory, is not easily sculpted 
in the round — can be seen in the statuette Number 59; 
it was long thought to be of ivory, but M. Poplin 
recently discovered that it is made from a large shell. 
The shell's growth rings are now visible on both sides 
of the figure. The material of the articulated human 
figure (No. 100), while particularly difficult to iden- 
tify, is probably also shell. 

A few fragments of carved tridacna, 7 discovered at 
Susa, bear witness to contacts between Elam and the 
Levant (fig. 59). In the eighth and seventh centuries 
B.C., these giant clams were extremely popular with 
Phoenician craftsmen, who typically carved on them 
scenes of flowers and animals surrounding a fantastic 
bird with a human head and a feather headdress that 
adorns the hinge of the bivalve. The same fabulous 
creature also appears on a type of fine metal vessel that 
was popular from Urartu to Lydia and all the way to 
Greece. The tridacnae found in Susa are the eastern- 
most evidence of the diffusion of these luxury goods 
from the Levant. 

It seems that elephant ivory was only occasionally 
available in Susa. Even from the most resplendent era, 
the Middle Elamite period in the second millennium 
B.C., the number of elephant ivory fragments that 
have come down to us is minuscule (see No. 86). The 
Elamites do not appear to have been familiar with 
hippopotamus ivory, on which a large artistic industry 
was based in the Levant during the third and second 
millennia. We know from recent research 8 that the 
Syrian elephant was rarely exploited for its ivory; the 

workshops of Mesopotamia and the Levant either im- 
ported elephant ivory, probably from Africa via Egypt, 
or made use of the hippopotamuses that inhabited the 
coastlands of the Levant. It might be expected that 
the Elamites, whose relations with the Indus Valley are 
well established, had ivory brought from the East 
along with lapis lazuli, carnelian, and shell jewelry. If 
that was the case, the imports must have been limited 
in quantity, as were those of lapis, which is strikingly 
rare in Susa as compared to Mesopotamia. 

It is only with the Persians that the use of ivory at 
Susa seems to have become widespread. We know 
from Persian written sources that this exotic, costly 
product was employed abundantly: the foundation 
charter of the Darius palace (No. 190)9 tells us that the 
"king of kings" had ivory brought from Ethiopia, the 
Indus Valley, and Arachosia (eastern Iran). It was prob- 
ably imported in the form of tusks and crafted at palace 
workshops by Sardians (Greeks from Asia Minor) and 
Egyptians. Unfortunately, we have very few examples 
of ivory workmanship at Susa during the Persian pe- 
riod. The scanty remains of plaques carved in relief 
and incised and of fragmentary figurines, found in the 
wells of the Susa Donjon on the site of a palace from 
the Persian era, while not always clearly identifiable, 
are probably of ivory Those objects, despite their 
fragmentary state, are proof of the extraordinary skill 
of the ivory workers and of their capacity to incorpo- 
rate the multiple artistic traditions that were a char- 
acteristic feature of Achaemenid eclecticism. Thus, 
some of the design motifs are in an Egyptian style 
inspired by Phoenician creations of the ninth to sev- 
enth centuries B.C.; 10 others are in the pure Greek 
tradition, 11 and were perhaps either imported or carved 
by Greek artists at Susa. Still other carvings are con- 
sistent with Persian concepts both in style and in 
iconography. 12 

annie caubet 


1. Caubet and Poplin, forthcoming. 

2. Tosi and Biscioni, 1981. 

3. Amiet, 1966, p. 143. 

4. Coqueugnot, forthcoming. 

5. Amiet, 1972b, nos. 784, 787, 795, etc. 

6. Sb 14473; Pierre Amiet in Jarrige, 1988, No. A 10. 

7. Amiet, 1976c 

8. Caubet and Poplin, 1987, and idem, forthcoming. 

9. Scheil, 1929b, pi. 9. 

10. Mecquenem, 1947, P- 8 4> n g- 53 -3 and 7. 

11. Ibid., fig. 53 : 6; Amiet, 1972b, p. 327, fig. 39, "Female smelling 
a flower/' 

12. Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 56; Amiet, 1972b, pi. 5:2a-b. 

Conservation Report 

From the very beginning the Susa exhibition project 
was exceptional, and not only because of the number 
and quality of the objects loaned by the Louvre and the 
wide range of conservation treatments that needed to 
be performed, some of them major, on outstanding 
pieces (the statue of Napir-Asu, the stele of Naram- 
Sin). Also remarkable was the principle, agreed upon 
from the project's inception, that since particular at- 
tention had to be paid to conservation the effort would 
be shared by the Metropolitan Museum and the 
Louvre, and some conservation treatments would be 
performed in New York. In this respect the Susa exhi- 
bition is a pilot project, a model for other collaborative 
ventures between major museums. 

This exhibition is one of the first and most impor- 
tant undertakings of the newly created archaeological 
division of the Service de Restauration des Musees de 
France. The division was officially set up in 1989, the 
time that the Susa project was initiated — a very bene- 
ficial coincidence. At this early stage in its develop- 
ment, the division was able to meet an essential re- 
quirement for the Susa restoration work by providing a 
large empty space in its headquarters at Versailles 
where all the Middle Elamite and Achaemenid brick 
fragments could be displayed and sorted out. Later, a 
laboratory was installed at Versailles so that special 
conservation treatments could be performed under ad- 
equate working conditions. Because of its importance 
the Susa project drew considerable attention to the 
specific problems of archaeological conservation. 

Preparation for the exhibition involved a variety of 
activities too numerous to detail; therefore this report 
concentrates on a few major topics. 

Many of the objects in the Louvre that were exca- 
vated at Susa had received some kind of conservation 
treatment in the past. It was essential to take this into 
consideration before planning any new action. Unfor- 
tunately, information on when, how, and by whom 

these earlier restorations were done is often missing or 
limited, and is scattered in various sources. To collect 
the information requires a patient search through 
many documents, including written and photographic 
archives, previous publications, inventory books, oral 
testimonies, and reports on scientific analyses and 
technical examinations of the objects. 

Architectural Bricks: Past and Present 

Let us consider, for example, the series of architectural 
baked bricks made in various periods. They are among 
the most impressive finds made by the French mis- 
sions. It was a tremendous achievement to unearth, 
pack, and transport these remains and then to restore 
the numerous wall panels made of hundreds of heavy, 
fragile, fragmentary bricks. The following description 
of the main events in this undertaking reflects the 
present state of our knowledge. 1 


According to Roland de Mecquenem's report, the 
bricks were first found, reused in a drainpipe, during 
the excavation season of 1912-13. 2 Later, during the 
1921 season, the team dug up an aqueduct made of 
approximately two hundred bricks, some inscribed, 
some not, in the same area. 3 The bricks represented "a 
fairly large number of types, a selection of which has 
been brought back to the Louvre. "4 But how the bricks 
were selected and exactly how many entered the mu- 
seum collection is unknown. 

One year later Mecquenem suggested an initial 
reconstruction of three figurative panels: a bull-man, 
a palm tree with an arm, and a figure thought to be a 
sphinx, as well as a geometric frieze (fig. 60). 5 An 
actual restoration of a bull-man and a palm tree 


282 Technical Appendix 

Figure 60. Early reconstruction of Middle Elamite unglazed brick 
panels with bull-man, palm tree, and zigzag pattern (see No. 88) 

mounted separately in two different panels (Sb 2732 
and 2733), and of a diamond- shaped frieze motif, may 
have been attempted at that time. This information 
comes from a note made in 1947 by Mecquenem. 6 
However, it should be emphasized that no mention of 
restored brick panels from the Inshushinak temple is 
made in the Catalogue des Antiquites de Susiane 
published by Maurice Pezard and Edmond Pottier in 

What we know for certain is that a restoration 
campaign took place around 1928. In the preceding 
years excavations had continued at Susa, and in 1924 
new bricks were unearthed, including two major pieces 
of the puzzle: the shoulders of the bull-man (the 
fourth course from the top) and the hands of the so- 
called sphinx, sometimes interpreted as a goddess in 
prayer. 8 A new assembly of the bricks was adopted 
following Mecquenem's interpretation, developed by J. 

M. Unvala: a newly restored bull-man and palm tree 
formed a single panel (Sb 2735) because this fantastic 
being and the sacred tree were thought to belong to a 
single iconographic group. The restoration of the " god- 
dess" panel was also undertaken, but it proved more 
problematic. No parts of the two top courses, corre- 
sponding to the headdress, had been found during the 
excavations, and the motif was incomplete. Further- 
more, the face was badly damaged. 9 Because the aes- 
thetic sensibility of the time made it impossible to 
display an incomplete and fragmentary restoration, 
the "goddess" was given "a sort of a bonnet" 10 and her 
features were reworked (Sb 2734 panel). 

In a study published in 1928, Unvala recorded that 
two "goddess" panels were restored, 11 but we cannot 
follow him on this point. Every other source leads us 
to believe that he was mistaken. 

The restored Middle Elamite panels were shown in 
connection with the exhibition of oriental antiquities 
held at the Musee de l'Orangerie in 1930. In the 
catalogue, R. Dussaud described only one example of 
the "goddess" and two examples of the bull-man- 
palm tree group, one reconstructed as two separate 
panels and the other as a single panel. Also included 
was the brick frieze that forms a geometric motif. 12 (A 
third coupling of a palm tree with a bull-man was 
restored at an unknown date but appears, from visual 
analysis, to illustrate the same techniques of restora- 
tion as those employed in the 1920s. y$ 

Dussaud further explained that "these various 
Elamite panels were assembled by the marble cutters' 
workshop at the Louvre," and in the preface of the 
catalogue paid gracious homage to the "zeal" and 
"skills" particularly demonstrated by this workshop 
"under the direction of M. Dausque." 14 There is only 
one reference in the archives 1 ^ to Gustave Dausque, an 
obscure figure in the history of the restoration of the 
Louvre collections; now at last he is emerging from 

Because of insufficient information, we cannot de- 
termine with precision the methods used at that time 
to restore the panels. However, in connection with our 
current research we have tried to document the old 
restorations as fully as possible, using visual and ra- 
diographic examinations, soundings, and partial 
cleaning tests. Thus both the prevailing spirit and the 
methods employed in this restoration, carried out be- 
tween the two world wars, can be roughly appre- 
hended. First, the missing parts were filled in with 
pigmented plaster. Then the surface was almost en- 
tirely inpainted with oil colors in order to create an 

Conservation Report \ 283 

illusion of completeness and give the old bricks — 
which were of clay of varying shades, some pale green, 
some beige, some red ocher — a uniform color. False 
cracks were drawn on the surface of the plaster fills to 
imitate the original appearance of the ancient terra- 
cotta. Every chip was filled in, and the edges of every 
brick as well as the joints between the courses were 
redone. Clearly the outcome was required to be beau- 
tiful, with as undamaged and rectilinear a surface as 
possible. In order to reduce the weight of the ensemble 
and facilitate assembly, bricks were sawn across their 
depth and the panels were framed within metal sup- 
ports, clearly visible with the radiography. 

Conservation Treatment 1990-91 Three new panels 
of previously unrestored bricks were assembled in 
1990-91 (No. 88). All the fragments of bricks left in 
reserve by the first restorers, about 350 in number, 
were moved to the workshops of the Service de Restau- 
ration in Versailles, where they were dusted off and 
sorted out during the summer of 1990 (fig. 61). The 
preliminary analysis of this material had several posi- 
tive results. It revealed the presence of elements that 
could be used to restore three new panels: a bull-man, 
a palm tree, and a " goddess." It confirmed that traces 
of about fifteen samples existed for each of those three 
motifs (for example, fifteen heads of bull-men, sixteen 
inscribed parts of palm tree trunks, fourteen arms of a 
'goddess"). Finally, it made possible the verification of 
numerous details regarding the iconographic or tech- 
nological study of the bricks. 

Since this was a long-term conservation project, it 
was decided that all the elements should be treated, not 
just those to be used in the new mounting. This 
process was carried out in several stages: 

• Scientific examination and analysis (types of 
clays, traces of slip, bitumen decoration, traces of mor- 
tar, burial deposits and accretions). 

• Condition report and diagnosis. 

• Cleaning: after some preliminary tests (dry 
cleaning, wet cleaning, poultices), the bricks were gent- 
ly cleaned with water, and preliminary consolidation 
was performed whenever necessary Some extremely 
hard siliceous and gypseous concretions remaining on 
a few bricks could be only partially eliminated because 
to remove them entirely by mechanical means might 
have caused damage to the surface. 

• Consolidation: with paraloid B 72, in a stronger 
or weaker solution in acetone according to each case 
(about three percent for the easily crumbling areas, in 
more concentrated injections for the areas with lifting 
chips or crusts). 

• Gluing of joint fragments — after more puzzle 
work than one can imagine! — with polyvinyl acetate 
in an aqueous emulsion (Mowilith). 

Finally, as a measure of preventive conservation, 
the storage conditions were improved for the isolated 
elements being sent back into the storeroom of the 
Departement des Antiquites Orientales after treatment. 

Mounting the new panels did not produce any 
major discoveries about iconography As our prede- 
cessors had already observed, the headdress of the 

Figure 61. Middle Elamite brick 
facade fragments during recent 
restoration efforts by the Service 
de Restauration 

284 I Technical Appendix 

goddess" was missing. Some notches on the side of the 
bricks corresponding to the "arm" of the palm tree and 
the forearm of the bull-man (both on the sixth course) 
appeared clearly. These marks suggest a connection 
between the two panels. 

What makes this current restoration campaign 
more innovative and represents an improvement over 
older attempts is the adoption of and adherence to the 
principles of readability, faithfulness to the original, 
and maximum flexibility in terms of assembly. As a 
consequence, these methods were followed: 

• The use of a single material (clay) and a single 
manufacturing technique (modeling) to reconstruct 
the missing courses (fig. 62). 

• The choice of a modern terracotta that in texture 
and color is clearly distinct from the ancient bricks but 
that integrates well into the general ensemble. 

• Great care in the reconstruction choices, notably 
regarding unknown elements (e.g., the headdress). 

• Minimal restoration. Except for a little glue and 
consolidant, no foreign substance was introduced into 
the original materials. The ancient elements remain 
distinct from the modern ones; each course is indepen- 
dent, and the whole piece is an assembly of indepen- 
dent parts. The display of the three panels relies upon a 
custom-made mounting system that prevents the su- 
perposed courses from crushing into each other. 

middle elamite glazed bricks The few elements of 
this series gathered by Jacques de Morgan on the Susa 
Acropole 16 constituted a group too sparse and frag- 
mentary to be easily reconstructed. It was not until 
Pierre Amiet's detailed study, published in 1976, that a 
restoration of these "disjecta membra" could be at- 
tempted (fig. 13, p. 11J, 3 7 The work was executed by 
Guy Cosset of the marble cutters' workshop, then 
under the direction of M. Bretonniere. 18 

In comparison to methods of the 1920s, the resto- 
ration technique chosen by Cosset shows a movement 
away from illusionistic effects and a greater attempt to 
suggest the architectural features of the original work. 
Missing courses in the two royal figures were redone in 
Saint-Maximin limestone; some less important miss- 
ing parts were filled in with slightly recessed plaster, 
and cavities were carved out for the insertion of the 
preserved ancient fragments, attached with metal 
dowels (e.g., the face and feet of the queen). A light 
patina made from shellac mixed with pigments 
smoothes the surface of the stone. 


discovery of glazed bricks from the Achaemenid pe- 

Figure 62. Detail of a newly restored section of the Middle Elamite 
brick facade (No. 88) showing modern (darker) bricks before firing, 
together with ancient bricks 

riod is a recurring motif in the writings of archaeolo- 
gists digging in Susa, the different stages of their 
successive restorations have fallen into oblivion. Let us 
recall the most significant facts. 

In the late 1880s, after a first restoration campaign, 
the archers and the lion frieze discovered during the 
Dieulafoy excavations were exhibited at the Louvre 
in their newly restored splendor. *9 On the site, Jane 
Dieulafoy had been concerned about the bricks' great 
fragility, expressing that worry in her very personal 
styled Consequently, the treatment of the bricks in- 
cluded a strengthening process, executed in the " classi- 
cal " fashion of the time: with spermaceti. 21 This last 
detail confirms our hypothesis that the work was car- 
ried out at the Louvre in the workshop specializing in 
the restoration of antiques, because we know from 

Conservation Report \ 285 

archival sources that the same process was used at the 
museum in the 1900s. 22 

While the nineteenth -century restoration was to- 
tally illusionistic and as such had elicited the admira- 
tion of the shah of Persia during his visit to Paris in 
1900, in subsequent, less ambitious restorations made 
between the two world wars the figures were com- 
pleted more visibly. During the Morgan excavations, 
quantities of better preserved elements from represen- 
tations of archers and fantastic animals had been dis- 
covered. G. Le Batard, a very seriously disabled vet- 
eran, undertook their restoration. Le Batard is 
mentioned two or three times in publications, where he 
is described as a "skilled artist" and a "repair artist." 
We learn that he spent many years working for the 
Susa Mission and that he restored most of the objects 
found during the excavations. 2 3 His work on vases, 
bronze objects, ivory objects, and other pieces is docu- 
mented in the archives between 1920 and 1940, as is his 
restoration of many Achaemenid panels. 24 He worked 
with an assistant in his workshop in Marines, Seine- 
et-Oise. We do not know if any other hands, perhaps 
from the Manufacture de Sevres, were involved in the 
restoration. 2 5 Further research is needed in this area. 

Finally the marble cutters' workshop appears to 
have executed partial or extensive reconstructions of 
some Persian panels at a later date (1950-60?). 26 

Conservation Treatment 1991— 92 For the Susa ex- 
hibition, a conservation campaign on Achaemenid un- 
glazed brick panels similar to the project conducted on 
the Middle Elamite series was undertaken. All the 
fragments that had been put aside during the past 
restorations and left piled up in a storeroom were taken 
to Versailles, cleaned, inventoried, and photographed. 
Then the conservators dedicated themselves once again 
to a grant puzzle, this time working with approx- 
imately 950 fragments. 

The bricks represent motifs already known, the 
lion, the winged bull, and the lion-griffin (No. 169); 
and it may be possible in the future to restore a new 
lion panel. Some fragments also illustrate unknown 
motifs that so far are difficult to interpret (other ani- 
mals ? vegetal ornaments ?). 

Technical features are being studied- — for example, 
incised marks in the shape of arrows on the sides of 
some bricks. The various types of clays are being 
analyzed, as are traces of bitumen. In several cases one 
can observe that the surface layer, which bears the low- 
relief decoration, was molded separately (as a stamped 
plaque) and then attached to the body of the brick. The 
clay used for this layer may be different from that used 

for the main bulk of the brick (e.g., green clay on a pale 
ochre body). With time, and after millennia of aging 
in the ground, the stamped surfaces have deteriorated 
more or less severely and tend to lift up from the brick. 
In some cases the surface is completely detached and 
allows us to observe the fingermarks on the reverse of 
the plaque. The bricks are in very fragile condition and 
frequently require consolidation. 

Conservation of Other Materials 

stone Both French and American participants car- 
ried out the conservation treatment of the works in 

In France, the most outstanding event was no doubt 
the restoration of the Naram-Sin stele (No. 109), gen- 
erously made possible by funding by Dr. and Mrs. 
Raymond R. Sackler. It was carried out in several 
stages. Preliminary examinations and analysis in- 
cluded ultra-violet examination, measurement by 
ultra-sound to determine the degree of deterioration 
of the stone and locate the main areas of weakness, 
petrographic examination — which proved the stone to 
be a limestone and not a sandstone — study of the 
porosity, and identification of salts and previous resto- 
ration materials. Particularly of interest was the ques- 
tion of the effects induced by plaster consolidation 
carried out during the excavations: 27 what was the 
nature and the chemical stability of this plaster? In the 
long term, this treatment might have contributed to 
the stele's deterioration because of salts in the plaster. 

The condition report showed that although the 
lower part of the stele is badly damaged, the deteriora- 
tion process appears to be more or less stabilized; no 
alarming change, such as saline efflorescence, chip- 
ping, or exfoliation, has been observed in many years. 
Using the photographic archives of the Departement, 
we can compare the current state of the stele with its 
condition at exhumation and its successive states dur- 
ing presentation in the Louvre galleries : undoubtedly 
there were losses in the sculpted bas-relief, notably at 
the left bottom corner, but these seem to have occurred 
at an early date, possibly during the shipping from 
Susa to Paris. Thus, the situation was less dire than we 
had first envisioned. Nevertheless, the stone had to be 
treated before it could be moved. 

The conservation treatment of the Naram-Sin stele 
was undertaken in 1992 and involved : 

• Preventive consolidation of the bas-relief with 
Japanese paper in order to avoid all loss of material. 

286 Technical Appendix 

• Careful mechanical removal of the plaster (rein- 
forced with fragments of modern bricks, stone, and 
wood pieces) that had been applied on the entire sur- 
face of the stele's reverse side. This plaster held the 
metallic support that attached the stele to the pedestal. 

• Removal of the pedestal. 

• Cleaning. 

• Consolidation treatment (by impregnation with 
ethyl silicate). 

Because of the monument's importance, a study 
will be published when all the conservation work has 
been completed. 

metal Two major conservation projects funded by 
Dr. and Mrs. Raymond R. Sackler were completed: the 
statue of Napir-Asu (No. 83) and the sit shamshi (No. 
87; see the technical report by Franchise Tallon and 
Lo'ic Hurtel, pp. 140-41). 

ongoing conservation research projects In con- 
nection with the Susa exhibition, programs of research 
into the conservation of specific materials such as bitu- 
men compound (see pp. 99-105) and unbaked clay (the 
series of funerary heads; see pp. 135-36) have been 
developed. These investigations are in progress and the 
results will be published at a later date. 

brigitte bourgeois 


1. I am very grateful to the following people who helped in my 
research: Pierre Amiet, former Inspecteur general of the De- 
partement des Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre; Ge- 
nevieve Teissier, documentation assistant, Departement des 
Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre; and Evelyne 
Cantarel-Besson, attachee, Archives des Musees Nationaux. 

2. Mecquenem, 1980, p. 23. 

3. Ibid., p. 28. 

4. Mecquenem, 1922, p. 128. 

5. Ibid., p. 129 and pi. 6. 

6. Mecquenem, 1947, pp. 13-14: "Since the bricks did not have 
alternated courses, both motifs of the bull-man and palm tree 
had initially been restored separately; they were reproduced as 
such in the Revue d'Assyriologie (Mecquenem, 1922, pi. 6)." 

7. This is the second edition. The first edition dates to 1913, 
preceding the discovery of the bricks, which may be why the 
authors did not mention the discovery in the second edition. 

8. Mecquenem, 1980, p. 32, and idem, 1924, p. 115: "We discov- 
ered several elements belonging to the relief panels we had 
previously attempted to reconstruct, including in particular 
two samples of the brick bearing the shoulders and the beard of 
the bull-man, missing until now." And further, "the discovery 
of a nearly complete brick that gives us the very rough hands" 
of the goddess. 

9. Unvala, 1928, p. 182. 

10. The term is Unvala s, p. 182 : "The headdress, which was a sort of 
a bonnet, is wholly missing." 

11. Ibid., p. 182: The bricks "were numerous enough to permit a 
restoration of a pair of complete panels of the man-bull wor- 
shiping the sacred date-palm and that of another pair of the 
panels of the woman in the praying attitude, in which latter 
some bricks are still missing." 

12. Musee de 1'Orangerie, 1930, pp. 72-73, no. 100: bull-man and 
stylized palm tree; no. 101: goddess; no. 102: coronation 
frieze; pi. 4. 

13. Kept in reserve; Sb 14390 and 14391. 

14. Musee de TOrangerie, 1930, p. 6. 

15. Archives des Musees Nationaux, 0-28-S, application for aid 
dated May 20, 1922 (unpublished). 

16. Morgan, 1900c, p. 96. 

17. Amiet, i976d, pp. 13-28, and in personal communication. 

18. I am indebted to Mr. Cosset for the information that he has 
kindly given me in conversation. 

19. Mecquenem, 1980, pp. 3-4. 

20. J. Dieulafoy, 1888, p. 158: "What terrible worries I have about 
the discovery and the removal of the enamels !" and pp. 132-33 : 

"invisible cracks are parting these materials: when moved, they 
break and crumble." 

21. Musee de 1'Orangerie, 1930, introduction by R. Dussaud, 
pp. 5-6, 20-21. 

22. Archives des Musees Nationaux, A 16, February 1908 (un- 
published); answers to an inquiry sent by the Royal Museums 
of Berlin on the conservation and restoration of antiquities. 

23. Pezard and Pottier, 1926, pp. 148-49. Musee de TOrangerie, 
1930, pp. 6, 20, 75. 

24. Archives des Musees Nationaux, B 16 (unpublished). 

25. According to the information given by P Amiet. P Munier, 
director-in-chief of the Institut de Ceramique Francaise at 
Sevres, has extensively studied the Middle Elamite and 
Achaemenid enameled frit objects. See R Munier, "Les faiences 
siliceuses et la classification generate des faiences," Silicates 
Industriels 14, no. 8 (1949)/ pp. 1-8. I am grateful to P Amiet, 
who brought this study to my attention. 

26. Information from G. Cosset. 

27. The stele was found buried 10 feet (3 m) down; see Morgan, 
1903d, p. 8; also idem, 1900c, p. 145: "When it was dug up, this 
stele was chipping so much that it had to be strengthened in 
several areas with plaster. Since then, in contact with the air, the 
stone has hardened, making the shipping of this important 
monument possible." While at the Louvre, the stele has been 
treated with potassium silicate; see A. Parrot, Archeologie 
mesopotamienne, vol. 2 (Paris, 1953), p. 89. 

Stele with Scene of a Libation Before a God 

After its arrival at the Metropolitan Museum, this 
limestone stele found at Susa (No. 110) was brought to 
the Objects Conservation Department for treatment 
prior to its exhibition. This treatment included the 
cleaning of the limestone surface, the consolidation of 
this surface in several areas, and the refinishing of the 

Conservation Report | 287 

existing plaster fills. During the treatment , a number 
of interesting features were noted. 

Numerous irregularly shaped holes and pits were 
found on the surface of the stone. These losses appear 
to have occurred naturally during burial, either be- 
cause soft and/or soluble deposits eroded from original 
cavities in the stone, or because inclusions harder than 
the surrounding limestone matrix were lost. Since 
limestones are typically formed by a sedimentary pro- 
cess, such inclusions and infilled cavities are not 

In contrast to these naturally formed cavities, the 
hole below the proper left hand of the seated figure was 
drilled or chiseled out and smoothed. This hole ap- 
pears to have been filled with a stone plug that was held 

in place with a lead-tin alloy (93.7 percent Pb and 6.3 
percent Sn as determined by EDS elemental analysis 
conducted by Mark Wypyski). A rectangular mass of 
this alloy lies across the diameter of the hole and a thin 
layer partially lines the wall of the hole. Although 
most of the stone plug is now lost, early photographs 
of the stele suggest that it protruded above the sur- 
rounding limestone surface. 

Although the back surface of the stele is broadly 
covered with restoration plaster, it is possible to discern 
areas where at some time the uneven surface was 
polished. These polished areas suggest that the stone 
was reused or adventitiously placed in a way that ex- 
posed it to repeated wear. 




Pierre Amiet 


Prudence Q Harper 

B A-S 

Beatrice Andre-Salvini 


Suzanne Heim 


Joan Aruz 


Frank Hole 


Zainab Bahrani 


Loi'c Hurtel 


Agnes Benoit 

J-F de L 

Jean-Francois de Laperouse 


Brigitte Bourgeois 


Oscar White Muscarella 


Elizabeth Carter 


Holly Pittman 


Annie Caubet 


Agnes Spycket 


Nicole Chevalier 


Matthew W. Stolper 


Odile Deschesne 


Francoise Tallon 




du Louvre Catalogue 
Number Number 

AO 19939 






























11 1; 


2 5 



4 1 















































2 9 










































7 2 








du Louvre Catalogue 
Number Number 





1 5 1 5 



*5 2 3 

















































































2 759 




1 7 1 









































du Louvre Catalogue 
Number Number 






































































































































290 I The Royal City of Susa 


du Louvre Catalogue 
Number Number 




















6 574 










































739 2 















du Louvre Catalogue 
Number Number 








77 6 3 




*3 2 











7 S 7 6 





x 35 


















































du Louvre Catalogue 
Number Number 



























- Q „ 




C -1 





l8 3 










































A A Arts asiatiques 

AfO Archiv fur Orientforschung 

AMI Archaologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 

BaM Baghdader Mitteilungen 

BM Bibliotheca Mesopotamica. Malibu, Cal. 

BTA Bahrain Through the Ages: The Archaeology. Edited by 
Shaikha Haya Ali al Khalifa and Michael Rice. London, 

CRAI Comptes rendus des seances de lAcademie des Inscrip- 
tions et Belles Lettres 

DAFI Cahiers de la Delegation Archeologique Francaise en 

DAI XXVI und XXVll vorlaufiger Bericht uber die von dem 
(UVB) Deutschen Archaologischen Institute und der Deu- 
tschen Orient-Gesellschaft aus hAitteln der Deutschen 
Forschungsgemeinschaft unternommenen Ausgrabun- 
gen in Uruk-Warka. Berlin, 1972. 

IA Iranica Antiqua 

}A Journal asiatique 

]AOS Journal of the American Oriental Society 

JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies 

JESHO Journal of the Economic and Social History of the 

JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies 

MDP Memoires de la Delegation en Perse, pre-1913; Mem- 
oires de la Mission archeologique de Susiane, vol. 14, 
1913; Memoires de la Mission archeologique de Perse, 
vol. 15, 1913; Memoires de la Mission archeologique de 

Perse, Mission de Susiane, vols. 16-28, 1921-39; 
Memoires de la Mission archeologique en Iran. Mission 
de Susiane, vols. 29-37, 1 943~^5' Memoires de la 
Delegation archeologique en Iran. Mission de Susiane, 
vol. 39, 1966, to present. Paris. 

MJP Contribution a I'histoire de I' Iran: Melanges offerts a 
Jean Perrot. Edited by Francois Vallat. Paris, 1990. 

MM-/S Fragmenta Historiae Elamicae: Melanges offerts a 
M.-J. Steve. Edited by Leon De Meyer, Herrmann 
Gasche, and Francois Vallat. Paris, 1986. 

NABU Nouvelles assyriologiques breves et utilitaires 

OIP Oriental Institute Publications, The University of Chi- 
cago. Chicago. 

RA Revue d'assyriologie et d'archeologie orientale 

Rd'E Revue d' egyptologie 

RLA Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Ar- 
chaologie. Berlin, 1932-present. 

UVB Vorlaufiger Bericht uber die von der Notgemeinschaft 
der Deutschen Wissenschaft in Uruk-Warka unter- 
nommenen Ausgrabungen, Abhandlungen der Preus- 
sischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, philosophisch- 
historische Klasse, vols. 1-5. Berlin, 1930-34. 
Succeeding volumes under slightly different titles 
(see DAI). 

WVDOG Wissenschaftliche Veroffentlichung der Deutschen 
Orient-Gesellschaft. Leipzig. 

ZA Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete, to 

1939; Zeitschrift fiir Assyriologie und vorderasiatische 
Archaologie, 1940-present. 

Aachen, City of 

1987 Vergessene Stadte am Indus: Friihe Kulturen in 
Pakistan vom 8.-2. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Exh. cat., 
City of Aachen. Mainz. 

Akurgal, Ekrem 

1961 Die Kunst Anatoliens von Homer bis Alexander. 

Al-Gailani Werr, Lamia 

1982 "Catalogue of the Cylinder Seals from Tell 
Suliemeh-Himrin." Sumer 38, pp. 68-88. 

Algaze, Guillermo 

1989 "The Uruk Expansion: Cross-cultural Exchange in 
Early Mesopotamian Civilization.'' Current An- 
thropology 30, no. 5, pp. 571-608. 


292 I The Royal City of Susa 

Alizadeh, Abbas 

1988 "Socio-Economic Complexity in Southwestern Iran 
During the Fifth and Fourth Millennia B.C. : The 
Evidence from Tall-i Bakun A." Iran 26, pp. 17-34. 

Amandry, Pierre 

1958 "Orfevrerie achemenide." Antike Kunst 1, pp. 9-23. 

Amiet, Pierre 


"Representations antiques de constructions su- 
siennes/' RA 53, pp. 39-44. 

"Notes sur le repertoire iconographique de Mari a 
l'epoque du palais." Syria 37, pp. 215-32. 

1966 Elam. Auvers-sur-Oise. 

1967 "Elements emailles du decor architecturale neo- 
elamite." Syria 44, pp. 27-51. 

1970a "Une masse d'armes presargonique de la collection 
M. Foroughi." RA 64, pp. 9-16. 

1970b "Rois et dieux d'Elam, d'apres les cachets et les 
sceaux-cylindres de Suse." Archeologia 36, pp. 

1971 "La glyptique de lAcropole (1969-1971): Tablettes 
lenticulaires de Suse." DAFI 1, pp. 217-33. 

1972a Glyptique susienne: Des origines a l'epoque des 
Verses achemenides. MDP 43. 

1972b "Les ivoires achemenides de Suse." Syria 49, pp. 
167-91, 319-37. 

1972c "Les statues de Manishtusu, roi dAgade." RA 66, 
pp. 97-109, 

1973 a "La glyptique de la fin de 1'Elam." A A 28, pp. 

x 973^ "Glyptique elamite, a propos de documents nou- 
veaux." AA 26, pp. 3-64. 

1974a "Antiquites du desert de Lut: A propos d'objets de 
la collection Foroughi." RA 68, pp. 97-110. 

1974b "Quelques observations sur le palais de Darius a 
Suse." Syria 51, pp. 65-j}. 

1976a Les antiquites du Luristan: Collection David- 
mill Paris. 

1976b Hart dAgade au Musee du Louvre. Paris. 

1976c "Contribution a l'histoire de la sculpture archaique 
de Suse." DAFI 6, pp. 47-82. 

I976d "Disjecta Membra Aelamica: Le decor architec- 
tural en briques emailles a Suse." A A 32, pp. 

1976c "Tridacnes trouves a Suse." RA 70, pp. 185-86. 

1977 L'art antique du Proche Orient. Paris. 

1978 (Ed.) Art et histoire de l f Iran avant V Islam: Col- 
lections du Musee du Louvre. Paris. 

1979a "Alternance et dualite: Essai d'interpretation de 
l'histoire elamite." Akkadica 15, pp. 2-22. 




'Archaeological Discontinuity and Ethnic Duality 
in Elam." Antiquity 53, pp. 195-204. 

Art of the Ancient Near East. Translated by John 
Shepley and Claude Choquet. New York. 

"La glyptique du second millenaire en provenance 
des chantiers A et B de la Ville Royale de Suse." 
IA 15, pp. 133-47- 

La glyptique mesopotamienne archaique. 2d ed. 

"A propos de l'usage de l'iconographie des sceaux a 
Suse." Paleorient 11, no. 2, pp. 37-38. 

I! age des echanges inter-iraniens, 3500-1700 
avant J.-C. Paris. 

"Kassites ou Elamites?" In Marilyn Kelly- 
Buccellati, ed., Insight Through Images: Studies in 
Honor of Edith Porada, pp. 1-6. BM 21. 

"Susa and the Dilmun Culture." In BTA, pp. 

"L'usage des sceaux a l'epoque initiale de l'histoire 
de Suse." In MM-JS, pp. 17-24. 

"Les modes d'utilisation des sceaux a Suse au IVe 
millenaire." AMI, N.E 21, pp. 7-16. 

Suse: 6000 ans d' histoire. Paris. 

Andrae, Walter 

1925 (Ed.) Coloured Ceramics from Ashur and Earlier 
Ancient Assyrian Wall-Paintings. London. 

1935 Die jungeren Ischtar-Tempel in Assur. WVDOG 


Andre, Beatrice, and Mirjo Salvini 

1989 "Reflexions sur Puzur-Insusinak." Melanges P. 
Amiet II. I A 24, pp. 53-78. 

Arnaud, Daniel, Yves Calvet, and Jean- Louis Huot 

1979 "Ilsu-Ibnisu, orfevre de YE.babbar de Larsa, La 

jarre L. 76. 77 et son contenu." Syria 56, pp. 1-64. 

Asselberghs, Henri 

1961 Chaos en Beheersing: Documenten uit aeneo- 
lithisch Egypte. Leiden. 

Aynard, J.-M. 

1957 Le prisme du Louvre AO 19939. P aris - 

Azarpay, Guitty 

1987 "Proportional Guidelines in Ancient Near Eastern 
Art." ]NES 46, no. 3, pp. 183-213. 

Barnett, Richard D. 

1966 "Homme masque ou dieu-ibex?" Syria 43, no. 
3-4, pp. 259-76. 

Bibliography | 293 

Barrelet, Marie-Therese 

"La 'figure du roi' dans l'iconographie et dans les 
textes depuis Ur-Nanse jusqu'a la fin de la I re dy- 
nastie de Babylone." In Paul Garelli, ed., he palais 
et la royaute (Archeologie et civilisation), Compte 
rendu de la XIX e Rencontre Assyriologique Inter- 
nationale, 29 juin-2 juillet 1971, pp. 27-138. Paris. 

Beran, Thomas 

1958 "Die babylonische Glyptik der Kassitenzeit." AfO 
18, no. 2, pp. 255-78. 

mort, les morts dans les societes anciennes, pp. 
}j}-4o6. Cambridge. 

Boucharlat, Remy 

1990a "La fin des palais achemenides de Suse: Une mort 
naturelle." In M/P, pp. 225-33. 

1990b "Suse et la Susiane a l'epoque achemenide: don- 
nees archeologiques." In Heleen Sancisi- 
Weerdenburg and Amelie Kuhrt, eds., 
Achaemenid History, vol. 4, Centre and Periph- 
ery, pp. 149-75. Leiden. 

Biggs, Robert D, and Matthew W. Stolper 

1983 "A Babylonian Omen Text from Susiana." RA 77, 
pp. 155-62. 

Boucharlat, Remy and Audran Labrousse 

1979 "Le palais dArtaxerxes II sur la rive droite du 
Chaour a Suse." DAFI 10, pp. 21-136. 

Bigot, Alexandre 

1913 "Les frises du palais de Darius et leur fabrication." 
CRA1, pp. 274-80. 

Boardman, John 

1970 "Pyramidal Stamp Seals in the Persian Empire." 
Iran 8, pp. 19-45. 

Boehmer, Rainer M. 

1965 Die Entwicklung der Glyptik wahrend der Akkad- 
Zeit. Berlin. 

1966 "Die Datierung des Puzur/Kutik-Insusinak und 
einige sich daraus ergebende Konsequenzen." Ori- 
ent alia, n.s. 35, pp. ^^-j6 f tab. 43-56. 

1972 "Die Keramikfunde in Bereich des Steingebaudes." 
In DAI, pp. 31-42. 

1981 "Glyptik der spaten Kassiten-Zeit aus dem nord- 
ostlichen Babylonien." BaM 12, pp. 71-81. 

Boese, Johannes 

1971 Altmesopotamische Weihplatten: Line sumerische 
Denkmalsgattung des 3. Jahrtausends v. Chr. Berlin. 

Borker-Klahn, Jutta 

1970 Untersuchungen zur altelamischen Archaologie. 

1982 Altvorderasiatische Bildstelen und vergleichbare 
Felsreliefs. Baghdader Forschungen 4. Mainz. 

Braun-Holzinger, Eva Andrea 

1984 Figiirliche Bronzen aus Mesopotamien. Munich. 

Buchanan, Briggs 

1966 Catalogue of Ancient Near Eastern Seals in the 
Ashmolean Museum. Vol. 1, Cylinder Seals. 

1967 "A Dated Seal Impression Connecting Babylonia 
and Ancient India." Archaeology 20, no. 2, pp. 

Calmeyer, Peter 

1972-75 "Hose." In RLA, vol. 4, pp. 472-76. 

1973 Reliefbronzen in bahylonischem Stil. Munich. 

1976 "Zur Genese altiranischer Motive: IV. Tersonliche 
Krone' und Diadem; V Synarchie." AMI, N.E 9, 
PP- 45-95- 

1987 "Art in Iran, iii. Achaemenian Art and Architec- 
ture." In Ehsan Yarshater, ed., Encyclopaedia 
Iranica, vol. 2, pp. 569-80. London and New York. 

1987-90 "Meder, Tracht der." In RLA, vol. 7, pp. 61^-ij. 

1988 "Zur Genese altiranischer Motive: X. Die 
elamisch-persische Tracht." AMI, N.E 21, pp. 

Cameron, George G. 

1936 History of Early Iran. Chicago. 

Bothmer, Bernard V 

i960 Egyptian Sculpture of the Late Period: yoo b.c. to 
a.d. 100. Exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn. 

Bottero, Jean 

1982 "Les inscriptions cuneiformes funeraires." In 

Gherardo Gnoli and Jean-Pierre Vernant, eds., La 

Canal, Denis 

1976 "Note sur un fragment de carreau decore." DAFI 6, 
pp. 83-91. 

1978a "La haute terrasse de lAcropole de Suse." Pale- 
orient 4, pp. 169-76. 

1978b "Travaux a la terrasse haute de lAcropole de Suse 
(iy'DAFI 9 , pp. ii- 55 . 

294 I The Royal City of Susa 

Canby, Jeanny Vorys 

1979 "A Note on Some Susa Bricks." AMI 12, pp. 315-20. 

Carter, Elizabeth 

forthc. "Bridging the Gap Between the Elamites and the 
Persians in Southeastern Khuzistan." In Heleen 
Sancisi-Weerdenburg, Amelie Kuhrt, and Marga- 
rerC. Root, eds., Achaemenid History, vol. 8, 
Continuity and Change. Leiden. 

Carter, Elizabeth, and Matthew W Stolper 

1976 "Middle Elamite Malyan/' Expedition 18, no. 2, 
pp. 33-42. 

1984 Elam: Surveys of Political History and Archaeol- 
ogy. University of California Publications: Near 
Eastern Studies, vol. 25. Berkeley and Los Angeles. 

Caubet, Annie, and Francois Poplin 

1987 "Matieres dures animales: Etude de materiaux." 

In Marguerite Yon, ed., Ras Shamra-Ougarit, vol. 
3, he centre de la ville, pp. 273-306. Paris. 

forthc. "La place des ivoires d'Ougarit dans la production 
du Proche-Orient ancien." In L. Finton, ed., Ivory 
in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, from 
the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. 14th 
British Museum Classical Colloquium, 1990. 

Charvat, Petr 

'Archaeology and Social History: The Susa Seal- 
ings, ca. 4000-2340 B.C." Paleorient 14, no. 1, pp. 

Childe, V Gordon 

New Light on the Most Ancient East. 4th ed. New 

Cleuziou, Serge 

1986 "Dilmun and Makkan During the Third and Early 
Second Millennia b.c." In BTA, pp. 143-55. 

Cleuziou, Serge, and Thierry Berthoud 

1982 "Early Tin in the Near East: A Reassessment in 
the Light of New Evidence from Western Af- 
ghanistan." Expedition 25, no. 1, pp. 14-19. 

Cogan, M. 

Imperialism and Religion: Assyria, Judah and 
Israel in the Eighth and Seventh Centuries b.c.e. 
Missoula, Mont. 

Collon, Dominique 

1982 Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the Brit- 
ish Museum: Cylinder Seals. Vol. 2, Akkadian- 
Post Akkadian-ilr III Periods. London. 

1986 Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the Brit- 
ish Museum: Cylinder Seals. Vol. 3, Isin-Larsa 
and Old Babylonian Periods. London. 

1987 First Impressions: Cylinder Seals in the Ancient 
Near East. London. 

Contenau, Georges 

1927-31 Manuel d'archeologie orientale depuis les origines 
jusqu'a I'epoque dAlexandre. Vols. 1, 2. Paris. 

1938 "The Early Ceramic Art." In Pope, 1938, vol. 1, 
pp. 171-94. 

Coqueugnot, E. 

forthc. "Un atelier specialise dans le palais de Mari." In 
Dominique Charpin and Jean-Marie Durand, eds., 
Mari, annales de recherches inter disciplinaires 7. 

Crawford, Harriet 

1991a "Seals from the First Season's Excavation at Saar, 
Bahrain." Cambridge Archaeological Journal 1, 
no. 2, pp. 255-62. 

1991b Sumer and the Sumerians. Cambridge and New 

Crawford, Vaughn Emerson, Prudence O. Harper, and Holly 

1980 Assyrian Reliefs and Ivories in The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art: Palace Reliefs of Assurnasirpal II 
and Ivory Carvings from Nimrud. New York. 

1990 Assyrian Reliefs and Ivories. . . . Rev. ed. New 

Dalton, Ormonde M. 

1926 The Treasure of the Oxus. 2d ed. London. 
1964 The Treasure of the Oxus. 3d ed. London. 

Damerow, Peter, and Robert K. Englund 

1989 The Proto-Elamite Texts from Tepe Yahya. Pea- 
body Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, 
American School of Prehistoric Research Bulletin 
39. Cambridge, Mass. 

Danthine, Helene 

1937 Le palmier- dat tier et les arbres sacres dans Lico- 
nographie de lAsie occidentale ancienne. Paris. 

Delaporte, Louis 

1920 Catalogue des cylindres, cachets, et pierres gravies 
de style oriental. Vol. 1, Fouilles et missions. Paris. 

Delougaz, Pinhas, Harold D. Hill, and Seton Lloyd 

1967 Private Houses and Graves in the Diyala Region. 
OIP 88. 

Bibliography | 295 

Deschesne, Odile 

forthc. Le travail du bitume a Suse: Inventaire arche- 
ologique. Paris. 

Dieulafoy, Jane 

1887a "The Excavations at Susa." Harpers New Monthly 
Magazine 75, no. 445, pp. 3-23. 

1887b La Perse, la Chaldee, et la Susiane. Paris. 

1888 A Suse: Journal des fouilles, 1884-1886. Paris. 

Dieulafoy, Marcel-Auguste 

1893 L'Acropole de Suse d'apres les fouilles executees en 
1884, 1885, 1886. Paris. 

1913 Les antiquites de Suse: Decouvertes et rapportees 
par la Mission Dieulafoy (1884-1886). Paris. 

Dijk, Jan van 

1978 "Isbi'Erra, Kindattu, l'homme d'Elam, et la chute 
de la ville d'Ur: Fragments d'un hymne 
dTsbi'Erra." JCS 30, pp. 189-208. 

1986 "Die dynastischen Heiraten zwischen Kassiten und 
Elamern: Eine verhangnisvolle Politik." Orientalia, 
n.s. 55, pp. 159-70. 

Duchesne-Guillemin, Marcelle 

1981 "Music in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt." 
World Archaeology 12, pp. 287-97. 

Dunham, Sally 

1985 "The Monkey in the Middle." ZA 75, no. 2, pp. 

Dyson, Robert H., Jr. 

1968 "Early Work on the Acropolis at Susa: The Begin- 
ning of Prehistory in Iraq and Iran." Expedition 
to, no. 4, pp. 21-31. 

1989 "The Iron Age Architecture at Hasanlu: An 
Essay." Expedition 31, no. 2-3, pp. 107-27. 

Eliade, Mircea 

1972 Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. 

El win, Verrier 

1951 The Tribal Art of Middle India: A Personal 
Record. Bombay, 

Farkas, Ann 

1974 Achaemenid Sculpture, Istanbul and Leiden. 

Ferioli, Piera, and Enrica Fiandra 

x 979 "The Administrative Functions of Clay Sealings in 
Protohistorical Iran." In Gherardo Gnoli and 

Adriano Rossi, eds., Iranica, vol. 10, pp. 307-12. 

Finkelstein, Jacob Joel 

1959 "The Year Dates of Samsuditana." JCS 13, pp. 

1961 Ammisaduqa's Edict and the Babylonian 'Law 
Codes/" JCS 15, pp. 91-104. 

Forbes, Robert James 

1964 Studies in Ancient Technology. 2d ed. Vol. 1. 

Frank, C. 

1912 Zur Entzifferung der altelamischen Inschriften. 

1923 Die altelamischen Steininschriften. Berlin. 

Franke, Judith A. 

1977 "Presentation Seals of the Ur III/Isin-Larsa Pe- 
riod." In McGuire Gibson and Robert D. Biggs, 
eds., Seals and Sealing in the Ancient Near East, 
pp. 61-66. BM 6. 

Frankfort, Henri 

1939 Cylinder Seals: A Documentary Essay on the Art 
and Religion of the Ancient Near East. London. 

1943 More Sculpture from the Diyala Region. OIP 60. 

1954 The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient. 

1955 Stratified Cylinder-Seals from the Diyala Region. 
OIP 72. 

Frankfort, Henri, Thorkild Jacobsen, and Conrad Preusser 

1932 Tell Asmar and Khafaje: The First Season's Work 
in Eshnunna, 1930/31. Oriental Institute Com- 
munications 13. Chicago. 

Frankfort, Henri, Seton Lloyd, and Thorkild Jacobsen 

1940 The Gimilsin Temple and the Palace of the Rulers 
at Tell Asmar. OIP 43. 

Gadd, Cyril John 

1932 "Seals of Ancient Indian Style Found at Ur." Pro- 
ceedings of the British Academy 18, pp. 191-210. 

Gall, Hubertus von 

1972 "Persische und medische Stamme." AMI, N.E 3, 
pp. 261-83. 

1974 "Die Kopfbedeckung des persischen Ornats bei den 
Achameniden." AMI, N.E 7, pp. 145-61. 

296 I The Royal City of Susa 

Galpin, Francis W. 

1937 The Music of the Sumerians and Their Immediate 
Successors, the Babylonians and Assyrians. 

Gautier, Joseph- Etienne 

1909 "Le 'sit samsi' de Silhak-In Susinak." Recueil des 
travaux relatifs a la philologie et a t ' archeologie 
egyptiennes et assyriennes 31, pp. 41-49. 

1911 "Le 'sit samsi' de Silhak In Susinak." MDP 12, pp. 

Gelb, Ignace J. 

1963 A Study of Writing. Rev. ed. Chicago. 

1980 "Principles of Writing Systems Within the Frame 
of Visual Communication." In Paul A. Kolers, 
Merald E. Wrolstad, and Herman Bouma, eds., 
Processing of Visible Language, vol. 2, pp. 7-24. 
New York and London. 

Ghirshman, Roman 

1938-39 Fouilles de Sialk pres de Kashan, 1933, 1934, 
1937. Musee du Louvre, Serie archeologique 4. 
2 vols. Paris. 

1964 The Arts of Ancient Iran, from Its Origins to the 
Time of Alexander the Great. New York. 

1966 Tchoga ZanbiL Vol. 1, La ziggurat. MDP 39. 

1968 Tchoga ZanbiL Vol. 2, Temenos, temples, palais, 
tombes. MDP 40. 

Ghirshman, Roman, and Marie- Joseph Steve 

1966 "Suse. Campagne de l'hiver, 1964-1965: Rapport 
preliminaire." A A 13, pp. 3-32. 

Ghirshman, Tania 

1970 Archeologue malgre moi: Vie quotidienne d'une 

mission archeologique en Iran. Neuchatel and Paris. 

Gjerstad, Einar 

1937 The Swedish Cyprus Expedition. Vol. 3. 

Glassner, Jean-Jacques, and Francoise Grillot 

1989 "Les textes de Haft Tepe, la Susiane et l'Elam au 2e 
millenaire." Paper presented at the 36th Rencontre 
Assyriologique Internationale, Ghent. 

Green, Margaret W. 

1981 "The Construction and Implementation of the Cu- 
neiform Writing System." Visible Language 15, 
no. 4, pp. 345~7 2 - 

Green, Margaret W., and Hans Jorg Nissen 

1987 Zeichenliste der archaischen Texte aus Uruk. Berlin. 

Grillot, Francoise 

1983 "Le 'suhter' royal de Suse." IA 18, pp. 1-24. 
1986 "Kiririsa." In MM-/S, pp. 175-80. 

Grillot, Francoise, and Jean-Jacques Glassner 

forthc. "Problemes de succession et cumuls de pouvoirs: 
Une querelle de famille chez les premiers suk- 
kalmah?" I A. 

Haerinck, Ernie 

1973 "Le palais achemenide de Babylone." IA 10, pp. 

Hallo, William W 

1961 "Royal Inscriptions of the Early Old Babylonian 
Period: A Bibliography" Bibliotheca Orientalis 
18, pp. 4-14. 

1983 "Cult Statue and Divine Image: A Preliminary 
Study. " In William Hallo, James C Moyer, and 
Leo G. Perdue, eds., Scripture in Context II: More 
Essays on the Comparative Method, pp. 1-17. 
Winona Lake, Ind. 

Hallo, William W, and Briggs Buchanan 

1965 "A 'Persian Gulf Seal on an Old Babylonian Mer- 
cantile Agreement." In Hans G. Guterbock and 
Thorkild Jacobsen, eds., Studies in Honor of Benno 
Landsberger on His Seventy-fifth Birthday, April 
21, 1965, pp. 199-209. Assyriological Studies 16. 

Hansen, Donald P 

1973 'Al-Hiba, 1970-1971: A Preliminary Report." Ar~ 
tibus Asiae 35, nos. 1-2, pp. 62-78. 

Hayes, William C. 

1 953~59 The Scepter of Egypt: A Background for the Study 
of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. 2 vols. New York. 

Goossens, G. 

1948 "Les recherches historiques a I'epoque Neo- 
Babylonienne. " RA 42, pp. 149-59. 

Green, Anthony 

1986 "The Lion -Demon in the Art of Mesopotamia and 
Neighboring Regions." BaM 17, pp. 141-254. 

Heim, Suzanne 

"Glazed Architectural Elements from Elam and 
Related Material from Luristan." Ph.D. disserta- 
tion, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. 

Herrero, Pedro, and Jean-Jacques Glassner 

1990 "Haft Tepe: Choix de textes, 1." IA 25, pp. 1-45. 

Bibliography | 297 

Herzfeld, Ernst E. 

1933 'Aufsatze zur altorientalischen Archaologie." AMI 
5, pp. 1-124. 

1941 Iran in the Ancient East: Archaeological Studies 
Presented in the Lowell Lectures at Boston. Lon- 
don and New York. 

Heuzey, Leon 

" Expose sommaire du rapport de M. J. de Morgan 
sur les fouilles de Perse/' CRAI, pp. 670-79. 

Hilprecht, Hermann Vollrat 

Explorations in Bible Lands During the 19th Cen- 
tury. Philadelphia. 

Hinz, W. 


Hole, Frank 



"Zur Entzifferung der Elamischen Strichschrift.' 
IA 2, pp. 1-21. 

Altiranische Funde und Forschungen. Berlin. 

" Symbols of Religion and Social Organization at 
Susa." In T. Cuyler Young, Jr., Philip E. L. Smith, 
and Peder Mortensen, eds., The Hilly Flanks and 
Beyond: Essays on the Prehistory of Southwestern 
Asia Presented to Robert J. Braidwood, November 
15, 1982, pp. 315-33. Studies in Ancient Oriental 
Civilization 36. Chicago. 

(Ed.) The Archaeology of Western Iran: Settle- 
ment and Society from Prehistory to the Islamic 
Conquest. Smithsonian Series in Archaeological 
Inquiry. Washington, D.C. 

"Cemetery or Mass Grave? Reflections on Susa I." 
In MJP, pp. 1-14. 

Howard-Carter, Theresa 

1983 'An Interpretation of the Sculptural Decoration of 
the Second Millennium Temple at Tell Al-Rimah." 
Iraq 45, pp. 64-72. 

1986 "Eyestones and Pearls." In BTA, pp. 305-10. 

Hrouda, Barthel 

1990 "Zur Bedeutung des Fisches in der 'spat- 

hethitischen' Kunst: religiose oder nur profane 
Darstellung?" In Paolo Matthiae, Maurits van 
Loon, and Harvey Weiss, eds., Resurrecting the 
Past: A Joint Tribute to Adnan Bounni, pp. 
109-16. Istanbul and Leiden. 

Hudson, Kenneth 

Illustrated London News 

1931 "A Ruler of the Double Line: An Achaemenian 

King." Illustrated London News, vol. 178, January 
10, p. 35. 

Jacobsen, Thorkild 

1934 Philological Notes on Eshnunna and Its Inscrip- 



Hons. Assyriological Studies 6. Chicago. 

The Sumerian Kinglist. Assyriological Studies 11. 

The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Meso- 
potamian Religion. New Haven. 

Jarrige, Jean-Francois 

1988 (Ed.) Les cites oubliees de I Indus. Archeologie du 
Pakistan. Exh. cat., Musee Guimet. Paris. 

Jeffreys, M. D. W. 

1954 "Ikenga: The Ibo Ram-Headed God." African 
Studies 13, pp. 25-44. 

Jequier, Gustave 

1900 "Travaux de l'hiver, 1898-1899." MDP 1, pp. 

1905 "Fouilles de Suse de 1899 a 1902." MDP 7, pp. 9-41. 

1968 En Perse, 1897-1902: Journal et lettres de 

Gustave jequier publies et annotes par Michel 
Jequier. Neuchatel. 

Joannes, Francis 

1984 "Contrats de mariage d'epoque recente." RA 78, 
pp. 71-81. 

1990 "Textes babyloniens de Suse d'epoque 
achemenide." In MJP, pp. 173-80. 

Johnson, Gregory A. 

1978 "Information Sources and the Development of 
Decision-Making Organizations." In Charles L. 
Redman et al., eds., Social Archeology: Beyond 
Subsistence and Dating, pp. 87-122. New York, 
San Francisco, and London. 

Joshi, Jagat Pati, and Asko Parpola 

1987 (Eds.) Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions. Vol. 

A Social History of Archaeology: The British Ex- 
perience. London. 

i, Collections in India. Helsinki. 

Kantor, Helene J. 

1 957 "Oriental Institute Museum Notes, no. 8: 
Achaemenid Jewelry in the Oriental Institute." 
JNES 16, pp. 1-23. 

1958 "The Glyptic." In Calvin W. McEwan et al, eds., 
Soundings at Tell Fakhariyah, pp. 69-85. OIP 79. 

1976 "The Excavations at Coqa Mis, 1974-75." In 

Firouz Bagherzadeh, ed., Proceedings of the 4th 

298 I The Royal City of Susa 

Annual Symposium on Archaeological Research 
in Iran, pp. 23-41. Teheran. 

Karageorghis, Vassos 

1973-74 Excavations in the Necropolis of Salamis. Vol. 3. 

Kent, Roland Grubb 

1953 OlH Persian: Grammar, Texts, Lexicon. 2d ed., rev. 
New Haven. 

Kervran, Monique 

1972 "Une statue de Darius decouverte a Suse: Le con- 
texte archeologique. " ]A, pp. 235-39. 

1974 "Les niveaux islamiques du secteur oriental du 
ripe de lApadana." DAFI 4, pp. 21-41. 

King, Leonard William 

1912 Babylonian Boundary -Stones and Memorial- 
Tablets in the British Museum. 2 vols. London. 

1915 Bronze Reliefs from the Gates of Shalmaneser, 
King of Assyria, B.C. 860-825. London. 

Kjaerum, Poul 

1983 Failaka/Dilmun: The Second Millennium Settle- 
ments. Vol. 1, no. 1, The Stamp and Cylinder 
Seals. Aarhus, Denmark. 

1986 'The Dilmun Seals as Evidence of Long Distance 
Relations in the Early Second Millennium B.C." In 
BTA, pp. 269-77. 

Koldewey, Robert 

1914 The Excavations at Babylon. Translated by Agnes 
S. Johns. London. 

1931 Die Konigsburgen von Babylon. WVDOG 54. 

Konig, Friedrich W. 

1965 "Die elamischen Konigsinschriften." AfO, suppl. 

Kramer, Samuel Noah 

1983 "The Ur-Nammu Law Code: Who Was Its Au- 
thor?" Orientalia 52, pp. 453-56. 

1989 "Law and Justice: Gleanings from Sumerian Liter- 
ature." In Marc Lebeau and Philippe Talon, eds., 
Reflets des deux fteuves: Volume de melanges of- 
ferts a Andre Finet, pp. 77-82. Akkadica Supple- 
mentum 6. Louvain. 

Labat, Rene 

1975 "Elam c. 1600-1200 B.C.," pp. 379-416, and 
"Elam and Western Persia c. 1200-1000 B.C.," pp. 
482-506. In The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 
2, no. 2. Cambridge. 

Labat, Rene, and Dietz Otto Edzard 

1974 Textes litteraires de Suse. MDP 57. 

Labrousse, Audran 

1972 "La charte de fondation du palais de Darius I er ." 

Unpublished paper, University of Paris, EUR 3. In 
Departement des Antiquites Orientales, Musee du 

Labrousse, Audran, and Remy Boucharlat 

1972 "La fouille du palais du Chaour a Suse en 1970 et 

1971." DAFI 2, pp. 61-167. 

Laird, Marsa 

"Linear- Style Cylinder Seals of the Akkadian to 
Post-Akkadian Periods." Ph.D. dissertation, Insti- 
tute of Fine Arts, New York University. 

Lambert, Maurice 

1971 "Investiture de fonctionnaires en Elam." JA 259, 
pp. 217-21. 

1976 "Tablette de Suse avec cachet du Golfe." RA 70, 
pp. 71-72. 

1978 "Disjecta Membra Aelamica (II) : Inscriptions du 
decor architectural construit par Shilhak- 
Inshushinak. " AA 34, pp. 3-27. 

Lambert, Wilfred G. 

1976 "Introductory Considerations." Orientalia 45, no. 
1-2, pp. 11-14. 

1979 "Near Eastern Seals in the Gulbenkian Museum of 
Oriental Art, University of Durham." Iraq 41, pp. 

Lampre, George 

1900 "Travaux de l'hiver, 1897-1898, tranchees nos. 7 et 
7a." MDP 1, pp. 100-110. 

1905 "La representation du lion a Suse," pp. 160-76, 
and "Statue de la reine Napir-asou," pp. 245-50. 
MDP 8. 

Langsdorff, Alexander, and D. E. McCown 

1942 Tal-i Bakun A: Season of 1932. OIP 59. 

Layard, Sir Austen Henry 

1852 Nineveh and Its Remains: With an Account of a 
Visit to the Chaldaean Christians of Kurdistan, 
and the Yezidis, or Devil-Worshippers; and an In- 
quiry into the Manners and Arts of the Ancient 
Assyrians. 2 vols. New York. 

1853 Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; 
With Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the Des- 
ert: Being the Result of a Second Expedition Un- 
dertaken for the Trustees of the British Museum. 

Bibliography \ 299 

Le Breton, Louis 

1956 "A propos de cachets archaiques susiens (I)." RA 
50, PP- 134-39- 

1957 'The Early Periods at Susa, Mesopotamian Rela- 
tions." Iraq 19, pp. 79-124. 

Le Brun, Alain 

1971 "Recherches stratigraphiques a lAcropole de Suse, 
1969-1971." DAFI 1, pp. 163-216. 

1978 "Suse, chantier Acropole 1.' " Paleorient 4, pp. 

Le Brun, Alain, and Francois Vallat 

1978 "L'origine de I'ecriture a Suse." DAFI 8, pp. 

Legrain, Leon 

1925 The Culture of the Babylonians: From Their Seals 
in the Collections of the Museum. University Mu- 
seum, Publications of the Babylonian Section 14. 

Lerner, Judith 

1991 "Some So-called Achaemenid Objects from 
Pazyryk." Source 10, no. 4, pp. 8-15. 

Ligabue, Giancarlo, and Sandro Salvatori 

1988 (Eds.) Bactria: An Ancient Oasis Civilization 
from the Sands of Afghanistan. Venice. 

Limet, Henri 

1971 Les legendes des sceaux cassites. Brussels. 

Loftus, William Kennett 

1857 Travels and Researches in Chaldaea and Susiana; 
With an Account of Excavations at Warka, the 
"Erech" of ~Nimrod, and Shush, "Shushan the Pal- 
ace" of Esther, in 1849-1852. London. 

Luschey, Heinz 

1983 "Die Darius-Statuen aus Susa und ihre Re- 
konstruktion." AMI, suppl. 10, pp. 191-206. 

McKeon, John 

1970 "An Akkadian Victory Stele." Boston Museum 
Bulletin 68, pp. 226-43. 

Mallowan, Max E. L. 

1936 "The Bronze Head of the Akkadian Period from 


Nineveh." Iraq 3, pp. 104-10. 
"Excavations at Brak and Chagar Bazar." Iraq 9, 

Marcus, Michelle 

1991 "The Mosaic Glass Vessels from Hasanlu, Iran: A 
Study in Large-Scale Stylistic Trait Distribution." 
Art Bulletin 73, pp. 536-60. 

Margueron, Jean 

1971 "Larsa: Rapport preliminaire sur la cinquieme 
campagne." Syria 48, pp. 271-87. 

Maxwell-Hyslop, Rachel 

1971 Western Asiatic Jewellery, c. 3000-612 B.C. 

Mazzoni, Stefania 

1975 "Tell Mardikh e una classe glittica siro-anatolica 
del periodo di Larsa." Annali dell Tstituto Orien- 
tate di Napoli 35 (n.s. 25), no. 1, pp. 21-43. 

Mecquenem, Roland de 

1905a "Offrandes de fondation du Temple de 
Chouchinak." MDP 7, pp. 61-130. 

1905b "Trouvaille de la statuette d'or."MDP 7, pp. 131-36. 

1911a "Constructions elamites du tell de lAcropole de 
Suse." MDP 12, pp. 65-78. 

1911b "Vestiges de constructions elamites." Recueil de 
travaux relatifs a la philologie et a I ' archeologie 
egyptiennes et assyriennes 33, pp. 38-55. 

i92off. "Rapport sur la campagne de fouilles de la Mission 
de Susiane." Manuscript. Archives of the Departe- 
ment des Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre. 

1922 "Fouilles de Suse: Campagnes des annees 1914, 
1921, 1922." RA 19, pp. 109-40. 

i922ff. "Journal." Manuscript. Archives of the Departe- 
ment des Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre. 

1924 "Fouilles de Suse." RA 21, pp. 105-18. 

1925 "Inventaire de cachets et de cylindres (Suse, 
1923-1924)." RA 22, pp. 1-15. 

1927 "Inventaire de cachets et cylindres (Suse, 
1925-1926)." RA 24, pp. 7-21. 

1928a "Choix d'intailles susiennes." RA 25, pp. 169-77. 

1928b "Notes sur la ceramique peinte archa'ique en 
Perse." MDP 20, pp. 99-132. 

1934 "Fouilles de Suse, 1929-1933." MDP 25, pp. 

1938a "The Achaemenid and Later Remains at Susa." In 
Pope, 1938, vol. l, pp. 321-29. 

1938b "Le marre de Nabu." RA 35, pp. 129-31. 

1938c "Suse." U anthropologic 48, pp. 65-70. 

1943 "Fouilles de Suse, 1933-1939: Archeologique su- 
sienne." MDP 29, pp. 3-161. 

1 943~44 "Notes sur les modalites funeraires susiennes et 
leur chronologic" Vivre et penser 52, pp. 133-47 
(Revue biblique, ser. 3). 

300 | The Royal City of Susa 

1947 "Contribution a 1' etude du palais achemenide de 
Suse." MDP 30, pp. 1-119. 

1949 "Epigraphie proto-elamite. " MDP 31, pp. 5-150. 

1980 "Les fouilleurs de Suse." IA 15, pp. 1-48. 

Mecquenem, Roland de, and J. Michalon 

1953 Recherches a Tchogha-Zembil. MDP 33. 

Mecquenem, Roland de, and Maurice Pezard 

1911 "Compte- rendu sommaire des fouilles de Suse de 
I'hiver 1910-1911/' Bulletin de la Delegation en 
Perse 2, pp. 51-58. 

Mellink, Machteld J. 

1964 (Ed.) Dark Ages and Nomads, c. 1000 B.C.: 

Studies in Iranian and Anatolian Archaeology. 

1971 "Excavations at Karatas-Semayiik and Elmali, 

Lycia, 1970/' American journal of Archaeology 

75, pp. 245-55. 

Meriggi, Piero 

1971 La scrittura proto-elamica. Part 1a, La scrittura e 
il contenuto di testi. Rome. 

1974 La scrittura proto-elamica. Part 3a, Testi. Rome. 

Metzger, Martin 

1985 Konigsthron und Gottesthron. Neukirchen-Vluyn. 

Miroschedji, Pierre de 

1980 "Le dieu elamite Napirisha/' RA 74, pp. 129-43. 

1981a "Le dieu elamite au serpent et aux eaux jaillis- 
santes." I A 16, pp. 1-25. 

1981b "Fouilles du chantier Ville Royale II a Suse 

(1975-1977): Les niveaux elamites." DAFI 12, pp. 

1982 "Notes sur la glyptique de la fin de 1'Elam." RA 

76, pp. 51-63. 

1985 "La fin du royaume dAnsan et de Suse et la nais- 
sance de l'Empire perse." ZA 75, pp. 265-306. 

1990 "La fin d'Elam: Essai d'analyse et d'interpreta- 
tion." I A 25, pp. 47-95. 

Mitchell, T. C. 

1973 "The Bronze Lion Weight from Abydos." Iran 11, 
PP- *73-75- 

1986 "Indus and Gulf Type Seals from Ur." In BTA, pp. 
2 7 8-S 5 . 

Moorey, Peter Roger Stuart 

1971 Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the 
Ashmolean Museum. Oxford. 

1978 "The Iconography of an Achaemenid Stamp-Seal 
Acquired in the Lebanon/ 7 Iran 16, pp. 143-54. 

1980 Cemeteries of the First Millennium B.C. at Deve 
Hiiyiik, near Carchemish, Salvaged by T. E. Law- 
rence and C. L. Woolley in 1913. BAR Interna- 
tional Series 87. Oxford. 

1985 Materials and Manufacture in Ancient Meso- 
potamia: The Evidence of Archeology and Art: 
Metals and Metalwork, Glazed Materials and 
Glass. BAR International Series 237. Oxford. 

Moortgat, Anton 

1940 Vorderasiatische Rollsiegel: Ein Beitrag zur Ges- 
chichte der Steinschneidekunst. Berlin. 

1969 The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: The Classical 
Art of the Near East. Translated by Judith Filson. 
New York. 

Morgan, Jacques de 

1898 Comptes-rendus sommaires des travaux arche- 
ologiques executes du 3 me novembre 1897 au i er 
juin 1898. Paris. 

1900a "Constructions elamites." MDP 1, pp. 196-98. 

1900b "Excavations in the Akropolis and Palaces of Susa." 
Scientific American 82 (March 17, 1900), pp. 
169-70, and supplement 49 (no. 1263), pp. 

1900c (Et al.) Recherches archeologiques. MDP 1. 

i9ood "Travaux au tell de la citadelle: Travaux sou ter- 
rains; Travaux en tranchees." MDP 1, pp. 81-99. 

1902a La delegation en Perse du Ministere de I' Instruc- 
tion Publique, 1897 a 1902. Paris. 

1902b "L'histoire de l'Elam d'apres les materiaux fournis 
par les fouilles a Suse de 1897 a 1902." RA 40, pp. 

1905a "Decouverte d'une sepulture achemenide a Suse. " 
MDP 8, pp. 29-58. 

1905b Histoire et travaux de la Delegation en Perse, 
1897-1905. Paris. 

1905c "Koudourrous." MDP 7, pp. 137-53. 
1903d (Et al.) Recherches archeologiques. MDP 7. 
1905c "Trouvaille de la colonne de briques." MDP 7, pp. 

i905f "Trouvaille du masque d'argent." MDP 7, pp. 

1907 "Les travaux de la Delegation Scientifique en Perse 
au cours de la campagne de 1906-1907." CRAl, 
pp. 397-413- 

1908 "Les resultats des derniers travaux de la Delegation 
Scientifique en Perse au cours de la campagne de 
1907-1908." CRAl, pp. 373-79. 

1912 "Observations sur les couches profondes de lAcro- 
pole a Suse." MDP 13, pp. 1-25. 

Bibliography \ 301 

Muscarella, Oscar White 

1974a (Ed.) Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collec- 
tion. Mainz. 

1974b "Decorated Bronze Beakers from Iran." American 
Journal of Archaeology 78, no. 3, pp. 239-54. 

1988 Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts 
in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 

Musee de l'Orangerie 

1930 Catalogue de 1' exposition d'antiquites orientales: 
Fouilles de Tello, de Suse et de Syne. Paris. 

Nashef, Khaled al 

1986 "The Deities of Dilmun." In BTA, pp. 340-66. 

Nassouhi, Essad 

1924 "La stele de Sargon l'ancien." RA 21, pp. 65-74. 

Negahban, Ezat G 

1991 Excavations at Haft Tepe, Iran. University Mu- 
seum Monograph 70, University of Pennsylvania. 

Oates, Joan 

1977 (Et al.) "Seafaring Merchants of Ur?" Antiquity 
51, no. 203, pp. 221-34. 

1979 Babylon. London. 

Opihcius, Ruth 

1961 Das altbabylonische Terrakottarelief . Berlin. 

Oppenheim, Adolf Leo 

1954 "The Seafaring Merchants of Ur. " ]AOS 74, pp. 


1956 The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near 
East. Transactions of the American Philosophical 
Society, n.s. 46, part 3. Philadelphia. 

Oppenheim, Max von 

1955 Tell Halaf. Vol. 3. Berlin. 

Orthmann, Winfried 

1975 Der alte Orient. Propylaen Kunstgeschichte. Vol. 
14. Berlin. 

Nissen, Hans Jorg 

1974 "Zur Frage der Arbeitsorganisation in Babylonien 
wahrend der Spaturuk-Zeit. " Acta Antiqua Aca- 
demiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 22, pp. 5-14. 

1977 "Aspects of the Development of Early Cylinder 
Seals." In McGuire Gibson and Robert D. Biggs, 
eds., Seals and Sealing in the Ancient Near East, 
pp. 15-23. BM 6. 

1986 "The Development of Writing and of Glyptic Art." 
In Uwe Finkbeiner and Wolfgang Rollig, eds., 
Gamdat Nasr: Period or Regional Style?, pp. 
316-31. (Suppl. to Tiibinger Atlas des Vorderen 
Orients, ser. B., no. 62.) Wiesbaden. 

1988 The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 

9000-2000 B.C. Translated by Elizabeth Lutzeier, 
with Kenneth J. Northcott. Chicago. 

Nunn, Astrid 

1988 Die Wandmalerei und der glasierte Wandschmuck 
im alien Orient. Handbuch der Orientalistik, ser. 
7, vol. 1, part 6. Leiden. 

Oates, David 

1967 "The Excavations at Tell Al Rimah, 1966." Iraq 29, 
pp. 70-96. 

Oates, David, and Joan Oates 

1991 "A Human-headed Bull Statue from Tell Brak." 

Cambridge Archaeological Journal 1, no. 1, pp. 

Pallis, Svend Aage 

1956 The Antiquity of Iraq. Copenhagen. 

Parker, H. W, and A. G. C Grandison 

1977 Snakes: A Natural History. 2nd ed. rev. London. 

Parpola, Simo, Asko Parpola, and Robert H. Brunswig, Jr. 

1977 "The Meluhha Village: Evidence of Acculturation 
of Harappan Traders in Late Third Millennium 
Mesopotamia?" ]ESHO 20, pp. 129-65. 

Parrot, Andre 

1949 Ziggurats et Tour de Babel. Paris. 

1957 he Musee du Eouvre et la Bible. Neuchatel and 

1959 Mission archeologique de Mari. Vol. 2, no. 3. he 
palais: Documents et monuments. Paris. 

1961 Sumer. Paris. 

1967a Mission archeologique de Mari. Vol. 3. Les tem- 
ples d'Ishtarat et de Ninni-zaza. Paris. 

1967b "Acquisitions et inedits du Musee du Louvre: 

21. — Tete royale achemenide?" Syria 44, nos. 3-4, 
pp. 247-51. 

1981 Sumer. Rev. ed. Paris. 

Perrot, Georges, and Charles Chipiez 

1890 Histoire de Yart dans I'antiquite. Vol. 5. Paris. 

302 I The Royal City of Susa 

Perrot, Jean 

1981 "L'architecture militaire et palatiale des 

achemenides a Suse." In 150 ]ahre 
Archaologisches Institut, 1829-1979, pp. 79-94. 

1989 (Et al.) "Suse: Dernieres decouvertes." Dossiers 
histoire et archeologie 138 (May), pp. 1-90. 

Perrot, Jean, and Daniel Ladiray 

1974 "La porte de Darius a Suse/' DAFI 4, pp. 43-56. 

Pezard, Maurice 

1913 Catalogue des antiquites de la Susiane. Paris. 

1916 "Reconstitution d'une stele d'Untas NAP GAL." RA 
13, pp. 119-24. 

Pezard, Maurice, and Edmond Pottier 

1926 Catalogue des antiquites de la Susiane (Mission }. 
de Morgan). 2d ed. Paris. 

Pillet, Maurice L. 

1914 he palais de Darius i er a Suse, V e siecle av. ].C. 

Pittman, Holly 

1984 Art of the Bronze Age: Southeastern Iran, West- 
ern Central Asia, and the Indus Valley, New York. 

Pope, Arthur Upham 

1931 "Exposition internationale d'art persan a lAca- 

demie Royale de Londres (I and II)." Cahiers d'art 
6, pp. 26-34, 83-92. 

(Ed.) A Survey of Persian Art: From Prehistoric 
Times to the Present. 15 vols. Oxford. 


! 947 






"Suggestions for the Classification of Neo- 
Babylonian Cylinder Seals." Orientalia 16, pp. 

Corpus of Ancient Near Eastern Seals in Ameri- 
can Collections. Vol. 1, The Collection of the Pier- 
pont Morgan Library. Washington, DC. 

Review of Henri Frankfort, The Birth of Civiliza- 
tion in the Near East and The Art and Architec- 
ture of the Ancient Orient. Art Bulletin 38, 
pp. 121-24. 

Alt-Iran: Die Kunst in vorislamischer Zeit. 

Iran ancien. Paris. 

"Nomads and Luristan Bronzes: Methods Pro- 
posed for a Classification of the Bronzes." In 
Mellink, 1964, pp. 9-31. 

The Art of Ancient Iran: Pre-Islamic Cultures. 
New York. 

1970 Tchoga Zanhil (Dur-Untash). Vol. 4, La glyptique. 
MDP 42. 

1971 "Remarks on Seals Found in the Gulf States." Ar- 
tihus Asiae 33, pp. 331-37. 

1975 "Iranische Kunst." In Orthmann, 1975, pp. 

1980 "The Iconography of Death in Mesopotamia in the 
Early Second Millennium b.c." In Bendt Alster, 
ed., Death in Mesopotamia, pp. 259-70. Meso- 
potamia, vol. 8. Copenhagen. 

1982 "Remarks on the Tod Treasure in Egypt." In M. A. 

Dandamayev et al., eds., Societies and Languages 
of the Ancient Near East: Studies in Honour of I. 
M. Diakonoff, pp. 285-303. Warminster. 

1985 "Classic Achaemenian Architecture and Sculp- 
ture." In Ilya Gershevitch, ed., The Cambridge 
History of Iran, vol. 2, pp. 793-827. Cambridge. 

1986 "Le cylindre elamite du British Museum no. 
134766." In MM-/S, pp. 181-85. 

1988 "Discussion of a Cylinder Seal, Probably from 
Southeast Iran." I A 23, pp. 139-43. 

1990 "More Seals of the Time of the Sukkalmah." RA 
84, pp. 171-82. 

Porada, Edith, and Faraj Basmachi 

1951 "Nergal in the Old Babylonian Period." Sumer j, 
no. 1, pp. 66-68. 

Pottier, Edmond 

1912 "Etude historique et chronologique sur les vases 
peints de lAcropole de Suse." MDP 13, pp. 

Pottier, Marie-Helene 

1984 Material funeraire de la Bactriane Meridionale de 
I' age du bronze. Paris. 

Potts, Daniel T. 


"Towards an Integrated History of Culture Change 
in the Arabian Gulf Area: Notes on Dilmun, Mak- 
kan and the Economy of Ancient Sumer." journal 
of Oman Studies 4, pp. 29-51. 

(Ed.) Dilmun: New Studies in the Archeology and 
Early History of Bahrain. Berlin. 

Powell, Marvin A. 

Rao, S. R. 

"Three Problems in the History of Cuneiform 
Writing: Origins, Direction of Script, Literacy." 
Visible Language 15, no. 4, pp. 419-40. 

"Trade and Cultural Contacts Between Bahrain and 
India in the Third and Second Millennia b.c." In 
BTA, pp. 376-82. 

Bibliography | 303 

Ratnagar, S. 

1981 Encounters: The Westerly Trade of the Harappan 
Civilization. Delhi. 

Schacht, Robert 

1987 "Early Historic Cultures/' In Hole, 1987, pp. 

Reade, Julian E. 

1986 "Commerce or Conquest: Variations in the 

Mesopotamia- Dilmun Relationship." In BTA, pp. 

Reiner, Erica 

1970 'Appendice: Legendes des cylindres." In Porada, 
1970, pp. 133-37- 

Rimmer, Joan 

1969 Ancient Musical Instruments of Western Asia in 
the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities, 
the British Museum. London. 

Roaf, Michael 

1974 "The Subject Peoples on the Base of the Statue of 
Darius." DAFl 4, pp. 73-160. 

1983 "Sculptures and Sculptors at Persepolis." Iran 21. 
Roche, Claude 

1986 "Les ziggurats de Tchogha Zanbil." In MM~]S f pp. 

1990 "Jean Perrot et lTran." In M/P, pp. ix-xiii. 

Root, Margaret Cool 

1979 The King and Kingship in Achaemenid Art, Acta 
Iranica 19, Ser. 3, Textes et memoires 9. Leiden. 

Rostovtzeff, Michael I. 

1920 "La stele d'Untas-GAL." RA 17, pp. 113-16. 

Royal Academy of Arts 

1931 Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Per- 
sian Art. London. 

Rutten, Marguerite 

I 935~3^ (Ed.) Encyclopedie photographique de I' art. Vols. 
i, 2. Paris. 

1950 "Glyptique susienne: Empreintes et cylindres." RA 
44, pp. 161-84. 

1954 "Tablette no. 4." MDP 36, pp. 83-85. 

Safar, Fuad, Mohammad Ali Mustafa, and Seton Lloyd 
1981 Eridu. Baghdad. 

Sarianidi, Victor I. 

1983 'Anthropomorphic Divinities of Ancient Bactria/' 
In Peter Snoy, ed., Ethnologie und Geschichte: 
Festschrift fur Karl Jettmar, pp. 513-25. 

Schauensee, Maude de 

1988 "Northwest Iran as a Bronzeworking Centre: The 
View from Hasanlu." In John Curtis, ed., 
Bronzeworking Centres of Western Asia, ca. 
1000-539 B - c - London and New York. 

Scheil, Vincent 

1900 Textes elamites-semitiques, premiere serie. MDP 

1901 Textes elamites-anzanites, premiere serie. MDP 3. 

1902 Textes elamites-semitiques, deuxieme serie. MDP 

1905 Textes elamites-semitiques, troisieme serie. MDP 

1913 Textes elamites-semitiques, cinquieme serie. MDP 
1 4- 

1916 "Textes funeraires." RA 13, pp. 165-74. 

1917a "Dechiffrement d'un document anzanite relatif aux 
presages." RA 14, pp. 29-59. 

1917b "Un fragment susien du livre Enuma Anu (ilu) 
Ellil." RA 14, Notules, no. 27, pp. 139-42. 

1929a "Documents et arguments," no. 1, "Inscription 
dAdda-Baksu." RA 26, pp. 1-7. 

1929b Inscriptions des achemenides a Suse. MDP 21. 

1931 "Dynasties elamites dAwan et de Simas." RA 28, 
pp. 1-8. 

1932 Actes juridiques susiens. MDP 23. 

1933 "Inscriptions de Darius." In Actes juridiques su- 
siens, MDP 24, pp. 105-15. 

1935 Textes de comptabilite proto- elamites, troisieme 
serie. MDP 26. 

x 939 "Textes historiques," nos. 2-4. In Melanges epi- 
graphiques, MDP 28, pp. 4-8. 

Schlossman, Betty L. 

1978-79 "Portraiture in Mesopotamia in the Late Third and 
Early Second Millennium B.C., I: The Late Third 
Millennium." AfO 26, pp. 56-77. 

1981-82 "Portraiture in Mesopotamia in the Late Third and 
Early Second Millennium B.C. , II: The Early Sec- 
ond Millennium." AfO 28, pp. 143-70. 

Schmandt-Besserat, Denise 

1978 Ancient Persia: The Art of an Empire. Exh. cat., 
University Art Museum, University of Texas, 

1992 Before Writing: From Counting to Cuneiform. 

304 I The Royal City of Susa 

Schmidt, Erich E 

1953 Persepolis. Vol. 1, Structures, Reliefs, Inscriptions. 
OIP 68. 

1957 Persepolis. Vol. 2, Contents of the Treasury and 
Other Discoveries. OIP 69. 

Schmidt, Erich E, Maurits N. Van Loon, and Hans H. Curvers 
1989 The Holmes Expeditions to Luristan. OIP 108. 

Seidl, Ursula 

1965 "Zur Umarbeitung zweier Stelenbekronungen aus 
Susa und anderer altorientalischen Reliefs." Ber- 
liner Jahrbuch fur Vor- und Fruhgeschichte 5, pp. 

1968 "Die babylonischen Kudurru-Reliefs." BaM 4, pp. 

1976 "Ein Relief Dareios' I in Babylon." AMI, N.E 9, 
pp. 125-30. 

1986 Iranische Denkmaler. Berlin. 

1989 Die babylonischen Kudurru-Reliefs: Symbole 
mesopotamischer Gottheiten. Orbis Biblicus et 
Orientalis 87. Gottingen. 

1990 "Altelamische Siegel." In M]P, pp. 129-35. 

Seux, M. -Joseph 

1986 Lois de I'ancien Orient. Supplement au Cahier 
Evangile 56. Paris. 

Smith, Sidney 

1928 Early History of Assyria. London. 

Sollberger, Edmond 

1965 'A New Inscription of Silhak-Insusinak." JCS 19, 
pp. 31-32. 

1968 'A Tankard for Atta-husu." JCS 22, pp. 30-33. 

Sollberger, Edmond, and Jean -Robert Kupper 

1971 Inscriptions royales sumeriennes et akkadiennes. 

Solyman, Toufic 

1968 Die Entstehung und Entwicklung der Gotter- 

waffen im alten Mesopotamien und ihre Bedeu- 
tung. Beirut. 

Spycket, Agnes 

i960 "La deesse Lama." RA 54, pp. 73-84. 

1968 "Une grande deesse elamite retrouve son visage." 
Syria 45, pp. 67-73. 

1972 "La musique instrumentale mesopotamienne." 
Journal des savants, no. 3, pp. 153-209. 


La statuaire du Proche-Orient ancien. Leiden and 

"Transposition du modelage au moulage a Suse a la 
fin du III e millenaire av. J.-C" In MM-JS, pp. 

Les figurines de Suse, I: Les figurines humaines. 
MDP 52. 

Stech, Tamara, and Vincent C. Piggot 

1986 "The Metals Trade in Southwest Asia in the Third 
Millennium B.C." Iraq 48, pp. 39-64. 

Steinkeller, Piotr 

1988 "The Date of Gudea and His Dynasty. " ]CS 40, pp. 

Steve, Marie-Joseph 

1962 "Textes elamites de Tchogha-Zanbil. " I A 2, pp. 

1963 "Textes elamites de Tchogha-Zanbil." I A 3, pp. 


1968 "Fragmenta Elamica." Orient alia, n.s. 37, pp. 

1974 "Inscriptions des Achemenides a Suse (suite)." 
Studia Iranica 3, no. 2, pp. 135-69. 

1987 Nouveaux melanges epigraphiques: Inscriptions 
royales de Suse et de la Susiane. MDP 53. 

1989 "Des sceaux-cylindres de Simaski?" RA 83, pp. 

Steve, Marie- Joseph, and Herrmann Gasche 
1971 LAcropole de Suse. MDP 46. 

1990 "Le tell de lApadana avant les Achemenides." In 
M/P, pp. 15-60. 

Steve, Marie-Joseph, Herrmann Gasche, and Leon De Meyer 

1980 "La Susiane au deuxieme millenaire: A propos 
d'une interpretation des fouilles de Suse." I A 15, 
pp. 49-154. 

Steve, Marie- Joseph, and Francois Vallat 

1989 "La dynastie des Igihalkides: Nouvelles interpreta- 
tions." In Leon De Meyer and Ernie Haerinck, 
eds., Archaeologia Iranica et Orientalis: Miscella- 
nea in honorem Louis Vanden Berghe, vol. 1, pp. 
223-38. Ghent. 

Stolper, Matthew W. 

1982 "On the Dynasty of Simaski and the Early Suk- 
kalmahs." ZA 72, pp. 42-67. 

1984 "Political History." In Carter and Stolper, 1984, pp. 

Bibliography | 305 

1989 'Awan." Encyclopaedia hanica, vol. 3, pp. 113-14. 

Strommenger, Eva, and Max Hirmer 

1964 Cinq millenaires d'art mesopotamien. Paris. Pub- 
lished in English as 5000 Years of the Art of Meso- 
potamia. New York. 

Stronach, David 

1972 "Description and Comment/' in "Une statue de 
Darius decouverte a Suse." JA 260, pp. 241-46. 

1978 Pasargadae: A Report on the Excavations Con- 
ducted by the British Institute of Persian Studies 
from 1961 to 1963. Oxford. 

1985 "The Apadana: A Signature of the Line of Darius 
I." In Jean-Louis Huot, Marguerite Yon, and Yves 
Calvet, eds., De 1' Indus aux Balkans: Recueil a la 
memoire de Jean Deshayes, pp. 433-45. Paris. 

Sumner, William 

1974 "Excavations at Tall-i Malyan, 1971-72." Iran 12, 
pp. 155-80. 

Tallon, Francois e 

1987 Metallurgie susienne 1: De la fondation de Suse 
au XVIII e siecle avant J.-C. 2 vols. Paris. 

Tallon, Francoise, Loic Hurtel, and France Drilhon 

1989 "Un aspect de la metallurgie du cuivre a Suse: La 
petite statuaire du II e millenaire avant J.C." I A 24, 
pp. 121-51. 

Tanret, Michel 

"Fragments de tablettes pour des fragments d'his- 
toire." In MM-JS, pp. 139-50. 

Toscanne, P 

"Etudes sur le serpent: Figure et symbole dans 
l'antiquite elamite." MDP 12, pp. 154-228. 

1916 "Motifs nouveaux de decoration susienne." RA 13, 
pp. 69-89. 

Tosi, M., and R. Biscione 

1981 (Eds.) Conchiglie, il commercio e la lavorazione 

delle conchiglie marine nel medio oriente dal IV al 
II millenio a. C. Exh. cat., Palazzo Brancaccio. 

Trokay, Madeleine 

1981 "Glyptique cassite tardive ou postcassite V Ak- 
kadica 21, pp. 14-47. 

Unvala, Jamshedji Maneckji 

1928 "Three Panels from Susa." RA 25, pp. 179-85. 

Vallat, Francois 

1974 "L' inscription trilingue de Xerxes a la Porte de 
Darius." DAFI 4, pp. 161-80. 

1979 "Les inscriptions du palais dArtaxerxes II." DAFI 
io, pp. 145-49. 

1980 Suse et I'Elam. Recherche sur les grandes civilisa- 
tions, memoire 1. Paris. 

1981 "L'inscription de la stele d'Untash-Napirisha." I A 
16, pp. 27-33. 

1983 "Le dieu Enzak: Une divinite dilmunite veneree a 
Suse." In Potts, 1983, pp. 93-100. 

1989a "M expression ADDA LUGAL an-sa-an u 

MUS.EREN ki dans un texte de Atta-husu." 
NABU, no. 4, notes breves no. 101, pp. 75-76, 

1989b "Une histoire cinq fois millenaire." In Suse: Der- 
nieres decouvertes f Dossiers histoire et archeologie 
138, pp. 16-17. 

1989c "L'inscription du sceau-cylindre du sukkalmah 

Tan-Uli." NABU, no. 4, notes breves no. 117, p. 92. 

i989d "Le scribe Ibni-Adad et les premiers sukkalmah," 
NABU, no. 2, notes breves no. 34, pp. 23-24. 

1990 "Reflexions sur l'epoque des sukkalmah." In M/P, 

pp. 119-27. 

Vallat, Francois, and Francoise Grillot 
1978 "Le verbe elamite 'oifslsi'." 

verbe elamite 'pi(s)si'." DAFI 8, pp. 81-84. 

Van Buren, Elizabeth Douglas 

X935— 36 Review of Andrae, 1935. AfO 10, pp. 287-93. 

1939 The Fauna of Ancient Mesopotamia as Repre- 
sented in Art. Rome. 

1945 Symbols of the Gods in Mesopotamian Art. Rome. 

1946 "The Dragon in Ancient Mesopotamia." Orientalia 
15, pp. 1-45. 

1954 "The Esoteric Significance of Kassite Glyptic Art." 
Orientalia 23, pp. 1-39. 

Vanden Berghe, Louis 

1959 Archeologie de I' Iran ancien. Leiden. 

1973a "Le Luristan a l'age du fer, la necropole de Kutal-i 
Gulgul." Archeologia 65, pp. 16-29. 

1973b "Recherches archeologiques dans le Luristan. Six- 
ieme campagne, 1970: Fouilles a Bard-i Bal et a 
Pa~yi Kal; prospections dans le district dAivan 
(rapport preliminaire)." I A 10, pp. 1-79. 

1983 Reliefs rupestres de I' Iran ancien. Exh. cat., 
Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire. Brussels. 

Vandier dAbbadie, J. 

1964 "Les singes familiers dans l'ancienne Egypte, pein- 
tures et bas-reliefs, I: L'ancien empire." Rd'E 16, 
PP- 147-77- 

306 | The Royal City of Susa 

Vincent, L.-H. 

1948 "La notion biblique de haut-lieu." Revue biblique 
55> PP- 2 45"7 8 - 

Walker; Christopher B. E, and Dominique Collon 

1980 "Hormuzd Rassam's Excavations for the British 
Museum at Sippar in 1881-1882/' In Leon De 
Meyer, ed., Tell ed-Der, vol. 3, pp. 93-112. 

Walser, Gerold 

1966 Die Xfilkerschaften auf den Reliefs von Persepolis: 
Historische Studien iiber den sogenannten Tri- 
butzug an der Apadanatreppe. Berlin. 

1980 Persepolis: Die Konigspfalz des Darius. Tubingen. 

Weisberg, David B. 

1984 "The Length of the Reign of Hallusu-Insusinak/' 
]AOS 104, no. i, pp. 213-17. 

Weisgerber, Gerd 

1984 "Makan and Meluhha — Third Millennium B.C. 

Copper Production in Oman and the Evidence of 
Contact with the Indus Valley." \n Bridget Allchin, 
ed., South Asian Archaeology 1981, pp. 196-201. 

Wickede, Alwo von 

Prdhistorische Stempelglyptik in Vorderasien. 

Wiggermann, Franz 

1985-86 "The Staff of Ninsubura: Studies in Babylonian 
Demonology II." Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 29, 
PP- 3-34- 

1989 "Tispak, His Seal, and the Dragon Mushussu." In 
O. M. C. Haex, H. H. Curvers, and E M. M. G. 
Akkermans, eds., To the Euphrates and Beyond: 
Archaeological Studies in Honour of Maurits N. 
Van Loon, pp. 117-33. Rotterdam and Brookfield, 

Wilcke, Claus 

1987 "Die Inschriftenfunde der 7. und 8. Kampagnen 
(1983-1984)." In Barthel Hrouda, ed., IsinAsan 

Bahriyat, vol. 3, Die Ergebnisse der Aus- 
grabungen, 1983-1984, pp. 83-120. Munich. 

Winter, Irene J. 

1981 "Royal Rhetoric and the Development of Historical 
Narrative in Neo-Assyrian Reliefs." Studies in 
Visual Communication j, no. 2, pp. 2-38. 

1986 "The King and the Cup: Iconography of the Royal 
Presentation Scene on Ur III Seals." In Marilyn 
Kelly-Buccellati, ed., Insight Through Images: 
Studies in Honor of Edith Porada, pp. 253-68. BM 

1987 "The Legitimation of Authority Through Image 
and Legend: Seals Belonging to Officials in the 
Administrative Bureaucracy of the Ur III State." In 
McGuire Gibson and Robert D. Biggs, eds., The 
Organization of Power: Aspects of Bureaucracy in 
the Ancient Near East, pp. 69-93. Studies in 
Ancient Oriental Civilization 46. Chicago. 

Wiseman, Donald J. 

i960 "The Goddess Lama at Ur." Iraq 22, pp. 166-71. 

Woolley, Sir C. Leonard 

1934 The Royal Cemetery: A Report on the Predynastic 
and Sargonid Graves Excavated Between 1926 and 
1931. Joint Expedition of the British Museum and 
of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania 
to Mesopotamia: Ur Excavations, vol. 2. London. 

1962 The Neo-Baby Ionian and Persian Periods. Joint 

Expedition of the British Museum and of the Mu- 
seum of the University of Pennsylvania to Meso- 
potamia: Ur Excavations, vol. 9. London. 

Wright, Henry T, and Gregory Johnson 

1 975 "Population Exchange and Early State Formation in 

Southwestern Iran, 
pp. 267- 

American Anthropologist 77, 

Wright, Henry T, Naomi Miller, and Richard Redding 

1980 "Time and Process in an Uruk Rural Center." In 
Marie- Therese Bar relet, ed., Uarcheologie de 
{'Iraq du debut de I'epoque neolithique a 333 
avant notre ere; perspectives et limites de {'inter- 
pretation anthropologique des documents, pp. 
265-84. Colloques internationaux du Centre Na- 
tional de la Recherche Scientifique, no. 580. Paris. 


Catalogue entries appear in boldface. Page numbers in italics denote illustrations other than those of entries. 

Aba, Akkadian god, 164 

Abbabashti, 96 

Abu Fanduwah, 47 

Account tablet, No. 49, 53, 77-79 

Achaemenid glazed brick panel, 

reconstruction of, 224-25, 234-5, 


Achaemenid tomb discovered on Acropole, 
1901, reconstruction of, 242, 243 

Achaemenids, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 126, 162, 
202, 206, 207, 214 
seal style, 213 

see also Persians; Susa in Achaemenid 

Acropole (Susa), 5, 11, 13, 18, 21, 24, 26, 
50, 87, 89, 90, 108, 116, 120, 161, 163, 
171, 203, 267 
Achaemenid tomb on, 242—52 
bronze sculptures found on, 134, 147 
columns and lion sculptures, 124-25 
cylinder seals found on, 212 
excavations by Morgan, 21-22, 26-27, 

124, 125, 159, 161, 183, 284 
haute terrasse, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28-29 
kudurrus found on, 178-80, 210 
massif funeraire, 22, 25, 26, 28 
monuments of Puzur-Inshushinak, 262, 


plan of mound ca. 4000 B.C., 27, 28-29 
prewriting accounting system discovered 

on, 52-53 
site plan of Acropole mound, 124, 180 
southwestern structure, items uncovered 

in, 125 

structures rebuilt by Shutrukid kings, 
122, 123 

temples of Ninhursag and Inshushinak, 
123, 132, 137, 139, 145 

"Trouvaille de la statuette d'or" 124, 
145-53, 204 

two archaic deposits, 50, 58-67 

Untash-Napirisha stele found there, 131 

vaulted tombs, 124 
Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak, king, 198-99 
Afghanistan, 97, 109, 116 
agate beads, 153, 248-50 
Ahura Mazda, 14, 230, 251, 272 
Aiapir, 13 
Ain Gir, 99 

Akkad, 13, 159, 161, 165, 271 

empire, 81 

kings of, 7, 8i, 92, 159, 162-63, 164, 165, 
166-68, 174-75 

cuneiform writing and texts, 7, 254, 255, 

257, 258, 259, 260 
language, 7, 81, 89, 90, 121, 253, 254, 

257/ 272 

period, 70, 96, 125, 134, 153, 166, 169, 
177/ 183 

period, human figurines popular, 184 

period, seals of, 7, 106 

snake god, 111 
al-Din, Muzzaffar, Shah, 16 
al-Din, Nasir, Shah, 16 
Al 'Ubaid, 109 

see also 'Ubaid culture 
Al Untash-Napirisha (modern Chogha 
Zanbil), 9, 121-22, 158 

see also Chogha Zanbil 
Alabastron, No. 180, 252 
Alexander of Macedon, 215 
Altai Mountains, 230 
Amenemhet III, 175 

Amiet, Pierre, 33, 58, 60, 70, 84, 106, 113, 

135, 211, 214, 284 
Anatolia, 116-17 

Animal on wheels, No. 139, 184, 196 

carried by servants, 236, 237, 238-39 
flanking stylized central tree, theme of, 


Annubanini, 169 

"Anshan [Anzan] and Susa, kingship of," 8, 
13, 198, 199, 255, 258, 265 

Anshan (Anzan, Tal-i Malyan), 2, 4, 7, 8, 
9, n, 14, 47, 69, 81, 82, 115, 118, 132, 
161, 197, 199, 204, 254, 255, 256, 263, 


abandoned, 5, 9 
destroyed by Babylonia, 11-12 
monarchy taken over by Persians, 13 
restored, as Anzan, 9 
Apadana Columns and Chateau (painting), 

Apadana (mound) at Susa, 21-22, 126, 203, 
204, 207, 209, 216, 230, 267, 272 

apadanas (columned halls), 125 
of Artaxerxes II at Susa, 217, 236 
of Darius at Susa, 216, 217, 219 

at Persepolis, 15, 216, 217, 230, 242 
Persian, 210 

at Susa, 14, 21-22, 102, 231 
Apotropaic plaque, No. 142, 201-2 
apsu, 130, 139 
Arachosia, 272, 280 
Aradus, 242 
Arameans, 259 
Armenians, 242 
Arrian, 242 
Arsames, 272 
Artaxerxes I, 216 
Artaxerxes II, 216, 217-18 

building activities at Susa, 217, 234, 236 
Articulated figure, No. 100, 154, 280 
Ashur (Assyrian god), 270, 271 
Ashurbanipal, 13, 126, 139, 161, 162, 198, 

199, 255, 259, 260, 268, 270-71 
Assyria, 13, 126, 139, 183, 197, 202, 214, 
246, 253, 254, 256, 259 

jewelry from court of, 242-43 
Attahushu, 177, 265 
Attameti (Attametu), 199 
Awan, 7, 81, 87, 262 

list of kings of, 257, 261-62 

Babylon, 161, 215, 217, 224, 232, 233, 234, 
255/ 257 

Northern Palace (Principal Citadel), 161 
Babylonia, 9, 10, 11-12, 13, 113, 148, 149, 
159, 161, 183, 197, 253, 254, 256, 259, 

boundary stones of, 162, 178-80. See 
also kudurrus 

Kassite, 10, 132, 178 

mathematical texts from, 277 
Bactria, 8, 12, 92, 97, 107, 272 
Bagherzadeh, Firuz, 24 
Bahrain, 119 

Bakhtiari Mountains, n, 13 
Balakot, 279 
Balawat, 139 

Bardi-i Bal, cemetery at, 149 

Battle of Issus, mosaic of, 246 

Battle of the gods, seal impression of, 106 

Bead of Kurigalzu, No. 98, 152, 153 

Beads, No. 177, 249-50 


308 | The Royal City of Susa 

Beaker with ibexes, No. i, 32 
Beaker with salukis and birds, No. 8, 


Beaker with snakes, No. 3, 34 
Beaker with wavy lines, No. 11, 39 
Beaker with zigzag decoration, No. 12, 

29, 40 
Behbehan, 260 
Beltiya, 123, 132 

Bendebal, bitumen mixers found at, 100 
Bilalama, 111 

impression of his seal, showing him 
before god Tishpak, 111 
Bird, No. 16, 42, 183 
Bird, No. 37, of bitumen, 66-67 
Bird-shaped vessel, No. 34, 65 
Biscione, R., 279 
Bisitun, 254 

Bison protome bowl, No. 64, 102 

bitumen and bitumen compound, use of 
for art objects, 6, 8, 12, 22, 66-67, 100 
for everyday uses, 99, 100, 118 
obtaining and preparing, 99-100 
ongoing, 100-101 

bitumen compound, objects of, 41, 99-101 

Bogazkoy 262 

Bowl, No. 170, 244 

Bowl with a human figure, No. 2, 33 
Bowl with bisons, trees, and hills, No. 

62, 98-99, 104 
Bowl with "comb-animals," No. 5, 36 
Bowl with geometric decoration, No, 13, 


Bowl with ibexes and checkerboard 

patterns, No. 9, 38 
Bowl with salukis, No. 6, 37 
Bowl with turtle and comb-animals, 

No. 7, 37 

Box with gazelles, No. 146, 203, 208-9 
Box with striding monsters, No. 145, 

203, 207-8, 209 
Bretonniere, M., 284 

brick architectural reliefs of a royal couple, 
reconstruction drawing of, 11, 125, 

204, 284 

brick decoration, Achaemenid, 223-41 
absence of red, 224 

analysis of glazes and colorants, 223-24 
"cloisonne," technique of, 223 
frieze of archers (guards), 13, 21, 224, 

glazed siliceous bricks, 223-24 
iconographies, reconstructing, 224 
Persian palace walls at Susa faced with 

brick, 223 
of two types, 223 
uncolored clay bricks, 223 
unglazed siliceous bricks, 225 
brick decoration, Middle Elamite, 122, 123, 

125-26, 141-44 
Brick relief with bull-man, palm tree, 

and frontal figure, No. 88, baked 

clay, ii, 123, 125, 126, 141-44, 209, 

223, 281, 282, 283 

Brick with stamped Elamite inscription 
of Shilhak-Inshushinak I, No. 186, 

258, 266-67 

Brick with Sumerian and Akkadian 
inscription of Kuk-kirmash and 
Elamite inscription of Shilhak- 
Inshushinak I, No. 185, 258, 

bricks, 217 

baked, as replacement for cruder type, 
123, 125 

decorated, of Achaemenid period, 217 
glazed and unglazed, 123, 125, 126, 202, 

213, 217, 225, 236, 281, 284 
Middle Elamite, found out of context, 

relief, 11, 125, 203, 217 
in shape of merlons, 224 
unglazed relief, 240, 241 
British Museum, 147, 161, 177, 180 
Bronze Age, 97, 122 
Brooklyn Museum, 60, 69, 246 
Bull knob, No. 148, 210 
Bull protome bowl, No. 65, 103 
Bulla with seal and token impressions, 

containing tokens, No. 23, 56 
Bulla (e) with seal impressions, 
containing tokens, Nos. 21, 22, 

Bull's head pendant, No. 97, 152 

Bupila (Bubiiu), 268 
Burnaburiash II, 157 
Buzua, seal of, 106 

Calmeyer, Peter, 201, 240 
Cambyses, 216 
Canal, Denis, 24, 26, 30 
capitals, addorsed Persian, 210 
Caria, 242 

Carinated jar with birds in flight, No. 

10, 39 
Carmania, 272 

Cart with hedgehog, No, 102, 155-56 
Cart with lion, No. 101, 155 

Carter, Elizabeth, 24 

Caspian Sea, 12 

castings, bronze, 134-35 

Catalogue des Antiquites de Susiane, 282 

ceramic jar, painted, "second style," 6 

Chaldeans, 259 

champleve used for jewelry, 245, 246 
chateau, residence constructed by Morgan, 

18 , 125-26 
Chigha Sabz, 203, 210 
Childe, V Gordon, 48-49 
chlorite, black and green, 7, 86 
Chogha Mish, 2, 28, 47, 50 
Chogha Zanbil, 23, 125, 132, 135, 146, 161, 

194, 202, 208, 209 
air view, walls and temples of Middle 

Elamite period, 9, 130, 138-39 

palais hypogee, 149, 203 

siyan-kuk (holy place), 9-10, 11, 130, 156 

temenos, 130, 208 

temple of goddess Kiririsha, 139, 152 

temple of goddess Pinikir, 132, 134, 152 

ziggurat, 130, 135, 138, 204 

see also Al Untash-Napirisha 
Cincinnati Art Museum, 175-76 
cloisonne for bricks 

technique of, 223 

use of, 224-25 
cloisonne for gold jewelry, 242, 246, 250, 

Clothed mother with child, No. 134, 

184, 194 
Collon, Dominique, 169 
Cones inscribed in linear Elamite, Nos. 

182, 183, 262, 263, 264 
Confronting sphinxes, No. 157, 13, 219, 

224, 228-30, 234 
Conservation projects, 281-87 

glazed and unglazed Persian bricks, 


limestone stele of libation scene, 286-87 
metal model called the sit-shamshi, 286 
metal statue of Napir-Asu, 286 
Middle Elamite glazed bricks, 284 
Middle Elamite unglazed bricks, 

ongoing projects, 286 
stone stele of Naram-Sin, 285-86 

Contenau, Georges, 36 

Cosset, Guy, 284 

cross (Proto-Elamite), 71-72, 74 

cuneiform texts from Susa, 253-78 
ancient history and traditions, by 

periods, 257-60 
historical, economic, and legal texts, 

historical reconstruction and identity, 
2 55-57 

importance of cuneiform texts, 255-56 
languages, scripts and decipherments, 
2 53"54 

literary, ritual, and mathematical texts, 

Cylinder seal with animal musicians, 

No. 150, 212 
Cylinder seal with banquet scene, No. 

149, 211 

Cylinder seal with bovid, calf, and 

lion, No. 42, 70, 72 
Cylinder seal with caprids flanking a 

tree, No. 104, 157-58, 212 
Cylinder seal with diety, worshiper, 

and human-headed snake, No. 77, 

106, 118-19 
Cylinder seal with human-headed 

winged creature and inscription, 

No. 151, 213 
Cylinder seal with man in "Median" 

dress and hero conquering bull, 

No. 152, 214 
Cylinder seal with Mesopotamian 

Index I 309 

divinities and inscription, No. 72, 

107, 112-13, 21 4 
Cylinder seal with milking scene, No. 

70, 108-10 
Cylinder seal with presentation scene; 

inscription naming the rulers 

Ebarat and Shilhaha, No. 73, 106, 

107, 114, 115 
Cylinder seal with rows of animals, 

No. 39, 70, 71 
Cylinder seal with seated figures, one 

under a vine, No. 74, 106, 107, 


Cylinder seal with snake god and 

worshiper, No. 71, 107, 111 
Cylinder seal with three figures in 

wide skirts, No. 75, 116-17 
Cylinder seal with worshiper and altar 

with flames, No. 103, 156-57, 211 
Cylinder seals, 4, 7, 8, 47, 71-74, 169 

of bitumen compound, 100, 157-58 

of faience, 156-57, 204, 211 

on legal tablets, 267-68 

Old Akkadian, 274 

of shell, 279 

of stone, 212-14 
Cylindrical vessel, No. 68, 104-5 
Cyrus II, The Great, 202, 216, 242 

unification of all Iran by, 13 

Darius I, The Great, 13-15, 215, 216-17, 

218, 219, 227, 234, 275 
building activities at Susa, 216-17, 2 ^°' 

271-72, 280 
gate of at Susa, 216 

later inscriptions from Susa, Persepolis, 
and Naqsh-i Rustam, 272, 273 

palace at Persepolis, 220, 230, 236, 254, 

palace at Susa, charter of, 242 
palace complex of Susa, 13-14, 216-17 
statue of, 216, 219-20, 246, 253 
tablet with Old Persian text of 

"Foundation Charter" of his palace at 
Susa, 2ji-j2 
tomb of, 14, 272 

Darius II, 216 

Darius III, 246 

Dashur, necropolis of, 16-18 
jewels from, 242 

Dausque, Gustave, 282 

Dead bird, No. 29, 61, 63 

Deh Luran plain, 100 

Delegation Scientifique Franchise en Perse, 

granted monopoly on excavations in 
Persia, 16 

Memoires de la Delegation en Perse, 19 
Departement des Antiquites Orientales 
(Musee du Louvre), 100, 283, 285 
Der (city), 153 

Deve Huyiik, 250 

Dieulafoy, Jane, 16, 20, 21, 183, 284 

Dieulafoy, Marcel -Auguste, 16, 20, 183, 

223, 227, 231, 284 
Dilmun, 119, 120 
Diyala region, 111 
Diz River, 121 
Dizful, 99 

Donjon (mound), 21, 22, 105, 111, 216, 217, 

234, 236, 280 
Dove, No. 96, 151-52 
Dravidian languages of India, 253 
Drinking bear, No. 38, 64, 67 
Duck weight, No. 69, 105 
Dur Kurigalzu, 161 
Dussaud, R., 282 

Ea (Enki), Mesopotamian water god, 112, 
130, 139 

Early Dynastic period, 81, 84, 87, 109, 113, 
153,169,177,183, 279 

glyptic seals of, 106 

Sumerian city states, 5 
Ebarat, 106, 107, 114, 262 

seal of, 115 
Ebarat II, 114, 263, 265 
Ebarti. See Ebarat 
Egypt, 50, 56, 272 

ivory imported from, 280 

Middle Kingdom, 242 
Elamite administrative tablet with 
impression of a royal name seal, 
No. 191, 260, 273 
Elamite deities, drawing of seal impression 

of, 6, 106, 107, 113 
Elamite god, No. 58, 94 
Elamite language, 253, 254, 272, 273 

"Anzanite," preferred by Scheil, 256 

cuneiform texts in, 257 
Elf-Aquitaine, 100 
Enlil-nadin-ahhe, 149, 153 
Enzak, 120 

Epic of Gilgamesh, 274 
Erech, 48. See also Uruk 
Eridu, temple of, 2, 28, 34 
Eshnunna, 96, 111, 161, 172, 174, 176, 177, 

Eshpum, governor of Elam, 56-87, IQ 6 

Etana, legend of, 274-75 

Ethiopia, 272, 280 

Euphrates River, 1, 51, 52, 68, 112 


bricks, 123, 125, 126 
figurines of birds, 152, 203 
highly siliceous architectural (gres 

emaille; pate siliceuse), 202 
use of, 123, 132, 134, 149, 202-3 

votary statuettes, 124, 125 
Failaka, 119, 120 

Fars, province of, 1, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13, 69, 130, 

197, 199, 254, 255, 256, 259, 268 
Farukhabad, 100 

Feet in shoes, No. 168, 13, 224, 239-40 
Female figures in full robes, 8, 116 
Female funerary head, No. 84, painted 

unbaked clay, 132, 136, 137, 184 
Female head, No. 86, elephant ivory ( ?), 

137, 280 

Female worshipers, Nos. 25, 31, 59, 62 
Figure of a seated monkey, No. 61, 97 

figurines, terracotta, 132, 183-96 
filigree in gold jewelry, 242 
Foundation Charter of Susa (DSf), 271-72, 

Foundation document commemorating 
the construction of the Nanna 
temple by Attahushu, No. 184, 


Fragment of a royal head, No. 153, 216, 

219-20, 230 
Fragment of a victory stele, No. 105, 


Fragment of a victory stele, No. 106, 164 

Frankfort, Henri, 175 
frit, glazed, 197, 225 
funerary heads, 135-37, ^4 
Funerary tablet, No. 193, 275 

Galpin, Francis, 188 

Gandhara, 272 

Gautier, J.-E., 137 

Gebel el-Tarif knife, 56 

Ghirshman, Roman, 19, 22-23, x 35/ 

138, 183, 217 
Girnamme, 262 

glass and faience, small objects of, 10, 

glaze industry, Elamite, 202-3 
glyptic (seals and sealings) 

art of Early Dynastic- Akkadian periods 
in Mesopotamia, 104, 106 

Early Dynastic IIIA, 109 

early Kassite Mesopotamia, 157, 211 

early Sukkalmah period, 116 

late or post-Kassite, 157 

Neo-Sumerian of Mesopotamia, 106 

Susa I, 43-46, 51 

Susa II and III, 51 

see also cylinder seals; seals; stamp seals 
Godin Tepe, 2, 4, 13, 69 
grande tranchee (Morgan's great trench at 

Susa), 22, 23, 24 
granulation in jewelry, 242, 248, 251 
Great Trench, The (painting), 22, 23 
Greece, 280 

Greek influence, 15 
Green, Anthony, 202 
gres emaille. See pate siliceuse 

310 | The Royal City of Susa 

griffins, 207, 208, 210, 217, 223, 224, 246 

Grillot, Francoise, 125, 146 

"grove temples/' 139 

Guards, Nos. 155, 156, 13, 21, 224, 

226-28, 233, 234, 246 
Gudea of Lagash, 87 
Gula, Babylonian goddess, 180 
Gulf (Persian Gulf, Arabo-Persian Gulf), 

107-8, 110, 119., 279 
Gungunum, 119, 262-63, 2 &5 

Habuba Kabira, 51, 68 

hadish (Old Persian for "palace"), 216, 217 

Haft Tepe (ancient Kabnak), 9, 118, 121, 

132, 135, 202 
funerary temple at, 9, 146 
Halludush-Inshushinak, "king of Anshan 

and Susa," 172 
Hallushu (Hallutash)-Inshushinak, 126, 202 
Hammer dedicated by Shulgi, No. 56, 

92, 255 

Hammurabi, 122, 159, 172, 175, 176, 188 
stele of Code of Laws of, 117-18, 122, 
129, 159, 160, 162, 169, 171, 181, 182 
Hamrin basin, 111 

Hand, No. 164, 13, 224, 232, 234, 235, 
236, 238 

Hand holding a vessel, No. 165, 13, 232, 

233,234, 235, 236-37,238, 240 
Hand in sleeved garment, No. 160, 13, 

224, 227, 232-33 
Hanne (Hanni), king of Aiapir, 13, 134, 140 
Harappa(n), 97, 109, 166 
harpe (sickle sword), 112, 214 
Hasanlu, 12-13, 206 
haute terrasse (mud-brick core of Susa 

excavation site), 22, 24, 25, 26, 28-29 
Head of a ruler (copper), Cincinnati Art 

Museum, 176 
Head of a ruler (copper), Metropolitan 

Museum of Art, 146, 174, 176 
Head of a ruler, No. 113, diorite, 159, 

Head wearing elaborate headdress, No. 

147, 141, 209 
Head with turban, No. 161, 13, 232, 

^33-34/ 2 3<5, 239 
Head with wreath (?), No. 166, 13, 224, 

232, 238 

Headless statuette of a resting bovine, 

No. 28, 61 
Head(s) in right profile, Nos. 162, 163, 

13, 227, 232, 234 
Herodotus, 214, 227, 242 
heulandite, 70 
Hidalu, 197 

Hindu Kush mountains, 4, 8 
Hishiprashini (Hishepratep [?]), 262 
Hita (Hidam [?]), 262 
Hittites, 10, 262 

Hole, Frank, 43, 44 
Hrouda, Barthel, 201 

human-headed winged bulls {lamassu), 213 
Humban-haltash(-altash) III 

(Ummanaldash), 199, 270 
Humped bull, No. 138, 184, 196 
Hurrians, 8, 9, 202, 262 
Huteludush-Inshushinak, 126, 203 
Hutran-tepti, king, 199 
Hystaspes, 272 

Ibbi-Sin, king of Ur, 171, 262 
Idaddu I (Indattu-Inshushinak), 262 
Idaddu II, 106, 139, 262, 265 
Igi-halkid kings, 121, 123, 127 
Iluna-Kirish, 112 
Inanna/Ishtar, 90, 123, 143 

vase depicting ritual marriage of, 49, 51 
Indus Valley, 7-8, 97, 110, 279, 280 

script, 53 

Inshushinak, patron god of Susa, 7, 9, 10, 
107, 116, 118, 125, 126, 130, 132, 137, 
139, 141, 172, 175, 199, 203, 266-67, 

deposit ("Trouvaille de la statuette 

d'or"), 124, 145-53 
sanctuary adorned by Shutrukid kings, 

122, 123 

temples of, 123, 124, 125, 126, 139, 145, 
156, 161, 197, 266, 282 
Ionia, 272 

Iran Bastan Museum, Teheran, 183 
Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research, 

irrigation technology, 48-49 
Ischali, 97 

Ishbi-Erra of Isin, 262 
Ishnikarab, 123, 126, 203 
Ishtar, 132, 144, 164, 270 
Ishtaran, god of Der, 153 
Isin, 87 

-Larsa period, 114 

II seals, 208 
ivory, 279, 280 

Izeh/Malamir, 11, 12, 13, 14, 254, 260 

Jacobsen, Thorkild, 172 

Jar sealing showing ibex-headed figure 

holding snakes, No. 18, 34, 45 
Jar sealing showing three figures in a 

ritual scene, No. 17, 43 
Jarmo, 183 
Jebel Aruda, 51, 68 
Jemdet Nasr period, 93 
Jequier, Gustave, 18 

jewelry, in Achaemenid tomb on Acropole, 

Kabnak. See Haft Tepe 
Karaburun (Lycia), tomb painting, 244 
Karkhai, 203, 208, 209 
Kassites, 9, 10, 122, 143, 147, 149, 153, 157, 

knob protomes, 210 
seals, 208 
Kavir Desert, 69 

Kerman, province of, 2, 4, 7, 69, 256, 263 
Khafajeh, 111 
Khorsabad, 221 

Khuzistan, 48, 50, 197, 199, 253, 254, 255, 

259, 267, 268 
Kindattu, 171, 257, 262 
king list, 257-58, 261-62, 274 
Kiririsha, 123, 132, 139, 152 

Kiririsha West, temple of, 203 
Kirwasir, 118 
Kish, 86, 109, 111 
Kititum Temple, 97 
kneeling bull holding vessel, 4-5, 59 
knob figurines, 210 
Kubatum, 96 

Kudurru, No. 116, 162, 178-80, 210, 212 
Kudurru of Melishihu, No. 115, 125, 

162, 178-80, 210 
kudurrus (boundary stones), 125, 178-79-80 

Kassite, 210 
Kuk-inzu, 113 
Kuk-Kalla, 106, 114 
Kuk-kirmash, 266, 267 
Kuk-sharum, 114 

Kuk-Simut, drawing of seal impression of, 

106-7, 1 3 1 
Kul-i Farah, 12, 13, 140 

Elamite rock reliefs at, 12, 14 
kumpum kiduia (exterior sanctuary), 125, 

126, 139, 141, 144 
Kur River basin, 82 
Kurangun, 8, 9, 11, 116, 130 
Kurdistan, 183 

Kurigalzu II, Kassite king, 153 

seal of, 180 
Kutir-Nahhunte, 122, 123, 125, 126, 161 

La fileuse (Lady spinning), No. 141, 

200-201, 211, see also frontispiece 
Labrousse, Audran, 223, 224 
Lagamal (underworld deity), 203 
Lakamar, 123 

Lama, goddess, 112, 143, 144 
Lampre, Georges, 18, 162 
lapis lazuli 

bull's head pendant of, and gold, 152 

dove of, and gold, 151-52 
Large tablet with impressions of 
dominating animals, No. 47, 5, 
50-51, 60, 70, 75-76, 107 
Larsa, 96, 119, 161, 172, 188, 262, 265 

period, 144 

Index I 311 

Late Uruk period, 48-52, 69, 97 

early civilizations, important traits of, 

increased specialization during, 48, 49 

Susa during, 50-51 

urban revolution during, 48 
Layard, A. H., 221 
Le Batard, G., 285 
Le Breton, Louis, 58 
Le Brun, Alain, 24, 44, 46, 58 
Lebanon, timber from, 272 
Leilan (Syria), 144 
Lion, No. 99, 152, 153 
Lion weight, No. 154, 221-22 
lion-griffin heads, 230, 231, 240-41 
lions, bronze, 221-22 
lion's foot, 240 

literary works catalogued in Nineveh 

libraries, 274 
Loftus, William Kennett, 16, 21 
lost-wax casting process, 4, 134, 146, 147, 


Lothal (India), 119, 279 
Luhhishshan, 262 
Lullubi mountain people, 166, 169 
Luristan, 1, 2, 6-7, 13, 81, 149, 158, 199, 
201, 203, 204, 206, 208, 210, 246 
bronzes, 210 

faience pyxides from, 209 
Luschey, Heinz, 220 
Lut, desert of, 4, 7, 69 
Lydia, Lydians, 230, 242, 248, 280 

Madaktu, 197 
Magan. See Oman 
Makran, 279 
Malamir, 140 

Male head, No. 137, 184, 195 
Male worshiper, No. 26, 60 

Malyan, see Tal-i Malyan 
Mamatain, 99 

Man carrying a young he-goat, No. 126, 

184, 188 

Man with a monkey, No. 125, 184, 188 
Manishtushu, 86, 106, 159, 165 

details of statue, 166 
Marduk, 34, 213 
Marduk-apla-iddina, 178 
Margiana, 8, 12 
Marhashi, 153 
Mari, 7, 112, 113 
Marines, Seine-et-Oise, 285 
Marlik, 12 

Martin, Robin B., collection of, 69 
Marv Dasht, valley of, 69 
Masjid-i Suleiman, 99 
massif funeraire (cemetery) at Susa, 22, 
25, 26-28 

"master of animals," 2-4, 15, 30, 45, 120, 

mathematical texts from Babylonia and 
Susa, 277 

Max well-Hy slop, Rachel, 149 

Mecquenem, Roland de, 18, 19, 22, 24, 

26-27, 58, 111, 126, 135, 137, 141, 145, 
146, 152, 183, 204, 206, 207, 212, 223, 
231, 233, 274, 275, 276, 281-82 

Medes, 13, 166, 197, 214, 239, 242, 272 
shoe of, 239-40 

Melishihu (Melishipak), 125, 178-80 

Meluhha, 97 

Memories de la Delegation en Perse, 19, 

Memphis (Egypt), 246 
merlons, 224, 232 

Meskalamdug, royal tomb of, at Ur, 149 
Mesopotamian monuments found at Susa, 

defacement and mutilation of some 
objects, 159-61, 162, 172, 174-75 

meager records of where found, 161, 204 

monuments and statuary, 162-82 
metallurgical industry, 2, 4 

lost-wax casting process, 4, 134, 146, 147 

see also castings, bronze 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 69, 115, 146, 

J 74/ V5~7 6 > 281 
Objects Conservation Department, 286 
Middle Assyrian 
seals, 208 
scribes, 274 
Middle Elamite brick facade, detail of 

newly restored section, 284 
Middle Elamite brick facade fragments 

during restoration, 283 
Middle Elamite period, 121-58, 202, 208, 
217, 223 

animals flanking stylized central tree, 

theme of, 158 
Apadana, 126 

decoration of royal and religious 
structures on Acropole, 123-26 

funerary heads, 9, 135-37 

glyptic style of late, 212 

Inshushinak temple, vicinity of, 124-25 

ivory carving, 280 

northern Acropole, 125-26 

odd small pieces, 154-58, 184, 191-96 

sculpture, metal, clay, and ivory 132-44 

sculpture, stone, 127-31 

seals, 208, 209, 211 

southeastern Acropole, 126 

southwestern structure, items uncovered 
at, 125 

temples of Ninhursag and Inshushinak, 

"Trouvaille de la statuette d'or r " 145-53 

Ville Royale, 126, 141 
Middle Elamite unglazed brick panels with 
bull-man, palm tree, and zigzag 
pattern, early reconstruction of, 

Miroschedji, Pierre de, 24, 118 

reconstruction of Untash-Napirisha stele 
by, 128, 129, 131 
Mitanni peoples, 10 

Model, called the sit-shamshi (sunrise), 
No. 87, 137-40 

conservation required for, 286 

cult significance, 137-40, 146 

technical analysis, 140—41 
Mohenjo-Daro, 279 

Mold for figurine of a nude female, No. 

121, 184, 186 
Mold for figurine of a nude female, No. 

128, 189 

Monstrous feline, No. 27, 51, 60 

Montu, temple of, Tod, 110 
Moortgat, Anton, 180 

Morgan, Jacques de, 16-19, 2 4' 2 ^/ 2 7> 12 4> 
125, 159, 161, 183, 201, 246, 284, 285 
Achaemenid tomb discovered on 

Acropole, 242 
chateau constructed, 18 
methods of excavation, 21-22 
with Fr. Vincent Scheil, 19 
Mouflon, No. 15, 42, 183 
mouflon-men, 128, 129, 130, 146 
Multiplication table, No. 195, 255, 

Musee de l'Orangerie, 282 
"museum," significance of in ancient Near 

East, 161-62 
mushhushshu (serpent-dragon), 111, 112, 
2 ^3 

mushi (Elamite for glazed terracotta), 202 
Musician with a "harp," No. 124, 


Musician with a lute, No. 122, 186-87 
Musician with a lute, No. 123, 184, 187, 

musicians, in art works, 212 

Nabu, god of writing, 10 

Nahhunte-utu, 266 

Nanna, temple of, 264, 265 

Napir-Asu, Queen, 10, 123, 128, 129, 
?-3 2 ~33-34-35> *37* *99> 281, 286 

Napirisha, 8, 107, 118, 130, 132 

Naqsh-i Rustam, 8, 14, 118, 130, 272 

Naram-Sin, 112, 122, 262 

victory stele of, 125, 159, 161, 162, 
166-67-68, 169, 281, 285 

Narundi, Elamite goddess, 86, 107 

National Antiquities Museum, Saint- 
Germain -en- Laye, 29 

National Archaeological Museum, Naples, 

National Museum of Natural History, 

Paris, 279 
Nebuchadnezzar 1, 14, 197, 232 
Necklace(s), Nos. 60, 175, 176, 96, 248, 


312 I The Royal City of Susa 

Necklace with pendants, No. 174, 248, 

Negahban, Ezat O., 121, 135 
Neo-Assyrian art, 201-2, 206, 214, 244 
kings, 161 

period, 206, 207-8, 252 
Neo-Elamite administrative tablet with 
seal impression, No. 188, 256, 260, 

Neo-Elamite legal tablet with seal 
impression, No. 187, 256, 260, 

Neo-Elamite period, 197-214, 217 
glazed objects, 204-11 
sculpture, 198-202 
seals, 211-14 

temple on Susa Acropole, 213 
" Neolithic revolution," 2 
"Neo-Sumerian"-period Mesopotamia, 87 
Nergal, 90, 113 
Nimrud (Iraq), 221 

jewelry discovered at, 242-43 
Ninazu, underworld deity, 111 
Nineveh, 51, 161, 172 

libraries of, 274 

library of Ashurbanipal in Northern 

Palace, 161 
relief from, showing Elamite musicians, 


Southwest Palace of Sennacherib, 161 
Ningizzida, 111 

Ninhursag-of-Susa, nature goddess, 7, 109 

temple of, 123, 124, 132, 145 
Nintu temple at Khafajeh, 99 
Ninurta, 113 
Nippur, 48, 84, 153, 172 
Nude female(s), Nos. 118, 119, 120, 127, 

129, 184-86, 189, 190-91 
Nude female(s) supporting her breasts, 

Nos. 131, 132, 133, 136, 184, 190, 191, 

Nude female with clasped hands, No. 

130, 190, 191 
Nush-i Jan, 13 

Nusku, god of fire and light, io, 157 

Old Akkadian writings, 81, 89, 90, 121, 
253. 254, 257 

Old Babylonian 

period, 112, 169, 175, 257, 277 
scribes, 274 

Old Elamite period, 81-120 

early-third-millennium sculpture, 83-87 
late-third- and early-second-millennium 

objects, 92-99 
monuments of Puzur-Inshushinak, 87-91 
ongoing political conflicts of Susa, 81-82 
seals and intercultural exchange, 107-8 
seals of, 106-20 

seals of Elamite rulers and officials, 

seals with religious imagery, 197 
sukkalmah governmental system, 81-82 
vessels of bitumen compound, 99-105 

Old Persian, court language of Achaemenid 
empire, 253, 271-72 

Oman (ancient Magan), 109, 163 
Gulf of, 279 

Opis, 161 

Oxus treasure, 244, 246 

Pair of bracelets with lion's-head 

terminals, Nos. 172, 173, 246-47 
Pair of buttons, No. 179, 251 
Pair of earrings, No. 178, 250 
Pair of eyes, No. 85, 136 
Pala-ishshan, 116 
Parthian period, 137 
Parts of lions and a lion-griffin, No. 

169, 213, 240-41, 285 
Pasargadae, new capital of unified Persia 
(Iran), 13, 14, 242, 248, 250, 251 

Palace P at, 216 

Palace S at, 202 
pate siliceuse, 202 

glazed objects of, 204-9 
Pazyryk, 230, 240 

pebble engraved with royal images and 
inscription of Shilhak-Inshushinak, 
114, 147, 258 
Perrot, Jean, 19, 23-24, 26 
Persepolis, 2, 8, 13, 43, 116, 213, 216, 217, 
224, 232, 234, 236-37, 239, 240, 242, 
250, 252, 255, 263, 272 
apadana and Council Hall at, 230 
constructed by Darius 1, 14-15 
excavations at, 273 

palace of Darius I at, 220, 230, 236, 254, 

palace of Xerxes, 230, 236 
plundered by Alexander, 215 
Persian art at Susa, see Achaemenids, Susa 

in Achaemenid period 
Persian Gulf (Arabo-Persian Gulf), see 

Persian Gulf cylinder seal with seated 

deity, No. 79, 106, 107, 120 
Persian Gulf stamp seal with two 

caprids, No. 78, 106, 107, 119 
Persians, 1, 13, 15 

empire at an end, 215 

shah of, 285 

shoe of, 239-40 

see also Achaemenids 
Pezard, Maurice, 127 

and Edmond Pottier, 282 
Phoenicians, 280 
Pillet, M. L., 223 
Pinikir, 132, 152 

Plaque of a nude lute player with 

bowlegs, No. 136, 184, 195 
Plaque with banquet and animal 

combat scenes, No. 51, 84-85 
Plaque with fantastic animals, No. 144, 

204, 206, 210 
Plaque with male figures, serpents, 

and quadruped, No. 52, 85-86 
plinths, 217 
Pol Doktar, 99 
Poplin, Francois, 95, 279 
Porada, Edith, 157, 175, 201, 209 
pottery, painted, 2 
pottery, Susa I, 32-41 
"Priest-kings," 4 

Prism of Ashurbanipal, king of 

Assyria, describing his campaigns 
against Elam and the pillage of 
Susa (prism F), No. 189, 162, 198, 
255, 259, 270-71 
Proto-Elamite civilization, 4, 5 

animals focus of art, 4-5 

art, 4, 69-70 

collapse of, 5 

seals of, 50-51, 70-79 

writing system, 47 
Proto-Elamite period, 68-79 

animals flanking tree, 158 

antelope, 68 

art, 69-70, 98, 202 

ceramics, 68-69 

change in Late Uruk community, 68 
changes in Susa, 68 
lion-demon, 60, 61, 69, 70 
period named after script, 68 
seals and sealings, 70-79, 158, 202 
Ptahhotep, 246 

Puzur-Inshushinak, 7, 8, 81, 116, 257, 263 

monuments of, 87-91, 262 
pyxides (sing, pyxis), 207-9 

Quetta, 8 

Rassam, Hormuzd, 161, 177 
Relief fragment(s) with head of a 

serpent-dragon, Nos. 8i, 82, 130-31 
Relief showing enthroned ruler, from 

Persepolis, 15 
Rim-Sin, 148 

rock relief at Kurungun, near Persepolis, 
drawing of, 9, 107, 112, 116, 117, 130, 131 

rock relief of Darius I with multilingual 
inscriptions, 254 

rock relief of king and subjects, 12, 14 

Root, Margaret C., 220 

rosettes, 231-32, 236, 238, 244 

royal guards on stone reliefs from 
Persepolis, 227-28 

royalty, statuettes of, 146-48 

Index ] 313 

Sackler, Dr. Raymond R., and Mrs., 285, 

Saint-Germain-en -Laye, National 

Antiquities Museum, 29 
Samsuditana, king of Babylon, 148 
sarcophagus, bronze, 242, 243, 251 
Sardians, craftsmen in ivory, 280 
Sardis, Lydia, 272 

Achaemenid gold plaques from, 230 
Sargon of Akkad, 162-63, ^4, 166, 255, 

257, 262 
Sasanians, 12, 217 

Scheil, Father Vincent, 18, 19, 138, 159, 255, 

256, 273 
sculptural arts, growth of, 4, 69 
Scythians, 242 

Sealed legal tablet with deity on snake 
throne and worshiper; inscription 
naming Tan-Uli, No. 76, 106, 107, 
112, 113, 116, 117-18 
seals, 10, 13, 50, 208, 209, 260 
carvers, 6 
carvings, 13, 213 

identical seal used in Susa and Persepolis, 

of Kurigalzu in Louvre, 180 
of Neo-Elamite period, 211-14 
of Old Elamite period, 106-20 
prewriting seal impressions on bullae, 

Proto- Elamite seals and sealings, 50-51, 

sphinxes on Achaemenid, 230 
Ur III period, 114, 115 
see also cylinder seals, glyptic, stamp 

Seated monkey, No. 33, 64, 97 

Seidl, Ursula, 178, 180 
Seistan Basin, 69, 256 
Seleucid Greek rule, period of, 162 

destruction of Near Eastern monuments 

during, 162 
Semitic languages, 253, 256 
serpent-dragons, fire-spitting horned, 128, 

129, 130-31 
serpents and water deities, table with, 10, 

129, 134 

Servant carrying an animal, No. 167, 

13, 232, 234, 236, 238-39, 240 
servants, 234, 235, 236, 238 

processions of, 224, 225, 232, 233-34, 

235, 236, 238-39 
on stone reliefs from Persepolis, 214, 217, 


Service de Restauration des Musees de 

France, 281, 283 
Sesostris III, 175 
Sevres, Manufacture de, 285 
Shahdad, 7, 69, 263 
Shahr-i Sokhta, 4, 69 
Shalmaneser III, 139 
Shamash, sun god, 111, 159, 161, 169, 171 
Shamash-shum-ukin, king of Babylon, 270 

Shara temple, 93 

Sharafabad, 51 

Shaur River, 28, 217, 236 

shells, availability and use of for artifacts, 

Shikaft-i Salman, 11, 134 
Shilhaha, 106, 114, 117, 258, 265 
Shilhak-Inshushinak (I), 122, 123, 125, 126, 

132, 134, 137, 139, 141, 145, 146, 147, 

258, z66~6y 
glazed wall knobs of, 124, 125, 126, 203 
kings of, 7, 8, 81, 96, 106, 114, 257, 

262-63, 265 
sukkals of, 82, 107, 117 
Shortugai, 8 
Shugu, 87 

Shuktiti, son of Hubanahpi, 213 
Shulgi, king of Ur, 81, 92, 123, 257, 262 
Shu-Sin, king of Ur, 96 
Shutrukid kings, 122, 123, 126, 148, 203, 

Shutruk-Nahhunte (I), king of Susa, 10, 
122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 137, 147, 153, 
159, 160, 172, 174, 175, 178, 180, 202, 
203, 266 
column of, 125 

Shutruk-Nahhunte II, 126, 213 

Shutur-Nahhunte, 13, 213 

Sibri, 8 

Sind, 272 

Sippar, 149, 159, 161, 166, 177, 180 
sit-shamshi sculpture, bronze, 123, 138, 
139, 146 

diagram of, showing techniques of 
metalwork manufacture, 140 

see also Model, called the sit-shamshi 

Small bowl with ibexes and dogs, No. 

Small vase, No. 14, 41, 100 

Small vessel with two necks, No. 30, 62 

snakes, 10, 111-12, 117, 118, 120, 134, 180 
Elamite god associated with, 128 , 129 
fire-spitting horned serpent, 128, 129, 

human-headed, 118 

Sogdians, 242 

sphinxes, 207, 208, 209, 224, 226-27-28 

in stone reliefs at Persepolis, 230 
Stamp seal with cruciform motif, No. 
19, 46 

stamp seals, 2-4, 25, 46, 119, 120, 230 

compartmented, 8, 97 
"standard of Ur," 279 

Statue of a seated ruler, No. in, 272-73 
Statue of a standing ruler, No. 112, 96, 

161, 174-75 
Statue of a standing ruler, No. 114, 177 
Statue of Eshpum, No. 53, 86-87 
Statue of Manishtushu, No. 107, 165-66 
Statue of Queen Napir-Asu, No. 83, 


casting and technical details, 134-35 
conservation project, 286 
Statue of the goddess Narundi/Narunte, 

No. 55, 90-91, 107, 113, 262 
Statuette of a female, No. 59, 95, 154, 280 
Statuette of a worshiper, No. 143, 204-5 
Stele of Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak, No. 
140, 198-99 
inscriptions on, 199, 256, 259 
stele of Sargon I, drawing of fragments of, 

Stele of Untash-Napirisha, No. 80, 10, 

107, 112, 113, 118, 125, 127-30, 131, 
132, 134, 146, 148, 209, 212 
Stele with an Elamite ruler 

approaching a seated god, No. 117, 

147, 150, 181-82 
steles, 8, 11, 125, 129, 131, 138, 139, 159, 
161, 164, 171, 178 
of Adda-hamiti-Inshushinak, 19^-99, 
256, 259 

of Law Code of Hammurabi, 117-18, 

122, 129, 260, 169, 181, 182 
of Naram-Sin, 122, 125, 159, 161, 162, 

166-67-6S, 169, 281, 285 
of Sargon I, drawing of fragments, 


of unidentified rulers, 169-71, 181-82, 

of Untash-Napirisha, 10, 107, 112, 113, 
118, 125, 127-2S-29-30, 131, 132, 134, 
146, 148, 209, 212 
of Ur-Nammu, 169 
Steve M.-J., 157 
Strabo, 216 

suhter (interior chapel), 125, 144, 146 

sukkals of Shimashki, 82, 107, 117 

sukkalmah, 116 

dynasty, 106, 107, 114, 257, 258 
governmental system in Elam, 8, 81-82, 
107, 117, 184, 257, 265 

Suliemeh, 111 

Sumer, 23, 48, 92, 254, 271 

cuneiform texts, 92, 254, 255, 257 
Sumerian language, 253, 254, 257 
Sumerian King List, 257-58, 261, 274 

Sumu-abum, king of Babylon, 265 

sun-disk motif, 169 

Surkh Dum, 203, 204, 208, 209 


Achaemenid occupation, 13, 260, 267 
Akkadian the spoken and written 

language, 87 
ancient history and historical traditions, 

by periods, 257-60 
and Anshan, 4, 132 
captured by kings of Ur, 7, 161 
colonies set up, 4 

conquered by Ur III empire, 81, 255, 257 
control gained by Shimashkian dynasty, 8 
destroyed by Ashurbanipal of Assyria, 

13, 126, 162, 198, 213, 215, 255, 259, 

260, 267, 270 

314 I The Royal City of Susa 

destroyed by Babylonia, 11-12, 197 
"ethnic duality'' at, 256, 262 
founding of, 2 

historical geography, 256, 257 
made sole capital of empire, 10-11 
massive destruction in mid- fourth 

century a.d. by Sasanian Shapur II, 


Morgan camp at, for excavations, 18 
numbered periods of its history, 4, 6 
ongoing political conflicts of Old Elamite 

period, 81-82 
prominence regained by Shutrukid line, 


restoration of "kingship of Anzan and 

Susa," 13, 198, 199, 255 
return to Mesopotamian orbit, 5 
rulers called sukkalmahs, 8, 81-82, 107, 

184, 263 
site plan of, xvii 

sophisticated levels of arts in Late Bronze 
Age, 122 

Sukkalmah dynasty, disappearance of, 

surrendered to Alexander, 215 
Susa I period, 183 

temple of Nanna built by Attahushu, 


under control of kings of Akkad, 262 
urban center remodeled by Darius I, 

Susa, ancient history and traditions by 
period, according to written texts, 

Achaemenid, 260 

Middle Elamite, 258-59 

Neo-Elamite, 259-60 

Shimashkian and Sukkalmah, 257-58 
Susa, excavation at, 20-24 

the Dieulafoys, 16, 20, 21 

earliest, 20-21 

Ghirshman, Roman, 22-23 

Mecquenem, 22 

Morgan, 21-22 

Per rot, Jean, 23-24 

see also Susa, mound of 
Susa, mound of, 2, 16-19 

Apadana Columns and Chateau 
(painting), 18 

before excavations (painting), 3 

during excavation (painting), 17 

massif funeraire (cemetery) discovered, 

Susa, prehistoric (Susa I), 25-46 
bituman and terracotta objects, 41-42 
cemetery discovered, 22, 25, 26-28, 

copper axes and disks found in cemetery, 


early reconstruction of Susa I burial, 27 
elaborately painted ceramics (Susa "first 

style"), 25, 26, 29-30 
environmental changes, 28 
glyptic, 43-46 

haute terrasse, 28-29 
an important religious center, 25, 28 
plan of Acropole mound ca. 4000 B.C., 

possible basis for Susa's founding, 28 
pottery, 32-41 

seals and sealings found at, 30 
Susa, protoliterate (Susa II and III), 47-79 
archaic deposits, the two, 58-67 
a gateway city, 47 
Late Uruk period, 48-52, 69, 97 
Proto-Elamite period, 68-79 
unclear relationship with Uruk, 51-52, 

urban revolution, 48 
writing, early history of, 52-53, 54-57 
Susa in Achaemenid period, 215-52, 273 
Achaemenid art and architecture, 216-18 
Achaemenid brick decoration, 223-41 
Achaemenid tomb on Acropole, 242-52 
ivory workmanship, 280 
jewelry and an alabastron from Acropole 

tomb, 244-52 
sculpture, 219-22 
subject to Achaemenids and to 
Alexander of Macedon, 215 
Susa Mission, 285 
"Susian" language, 254 
Susiana, 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 19, 21, 47, 81, 
82, 101, 122, 132, 199, 215, 216, 259, 
260, 262 
prehistoric mounds of, 24, 28 
siyan-kuk (holy place), 9—10, 11, 130 

see also Chogha Zanbil 
Syria, 96, 110, 112, 113, 116-17, *43' M4> 
174, 175, 210 

Tablet illustrating a method for 

calculating the areas of regular 

polygons, in Akkadian, No. 194, 

2 55< 276-78 
Tablet with a dynastic list of the kings 

of Awan and Shimashki, No. 181, 

87, 257, 261-63, 2 ^5 
Tablet with a seal impression and 

markings having numerical value, 

No. 24, 57 
Tablet with impression of a demonic 

creature in a boat, No. 48, 77 
Tablet with impression of a horned 

animal and a plant, No. 46, 74 
Tablet with Old Persian text of the 

"Foundation Charter" of the Palace 

of Darius at Susa, No. 190, 242, 

260, 271-72, 280 
Tablet with part of an Old Babylonian 

version of the legend of Etana, No. 

192,255,274-75 ■ 
Tal-i Bakun, 2, 29, 43 
Tal-i Iblis, 69 

Tal-i Malyan, 4, 69, 203. See also Anshan 

Tan-Ruhuratir, 111, 262 

Tan-Uli, 117 

Tazitta, 262 

Tell Agrab, 93 

Tell Brak, 58 

Tell Halaf, 212 

Tell Rimah, 143-44 

Telloh (Tello, Girsu), 93, 169 

Ten Thousand, the, elite troops of Persians, 

228-28, 242 
Tepe Giyan, 2 
Tepe Hissar, 2 
Tepe Sarab, 183 
Tepe Sialk, 2, 4, 5, 29, 69 
copper deposits near, 30 
Tepe Yahya, 2, 4, 5, 7, 53, 69 
Tepti-ahar, ''king of Susa and Anshan," 17, 

118, 121, 202 
Tepti-Humban-Inshushinak (Te-Umman), 

199, 270 
terracotta, glazed 
use of, 204, 205 
terracotta figurines, popular art form at 

Susa, 183-96 
Tigris River, 1, 51, 68, 153 
Tile with a rosette, No. 159, 13, 224, 

231-32, 236 
Tile with lion's heads, No. 158, 13, 24, 

225, 230-31 
Tishpak, 111 
"Tod treasure," 110 

Top of a stele with scene of a libation 
before a god, No. 110, 117-18, 129, 
161, 169-71, 181, 286-87 

Torque with lion's-head terminals, No. 

171, 245-46 
Toscanne, P, 58 
Tosi, M., 279 

trans-Elamite culture, 7, 8 

collapse of, 8 
Tribute bearer, No. 108, 166 
tridacna shell, drawing reconstructing 

carved, 280 
Tripod with mountain goats, No. 63, 


"Trouvaille de la statuette d'or," 124, 145-53 
Troy, 242 

Turkmenia, 4, 7-8 
Turkmenistan, 97 

Two fragments of a jar sealing showing 

grain storage, No. 20, 54 
Two statuettes of offering bearers, Nos. 

89, 90, 146-48 

'Ubaid culture, 25, 26, 109 
Udug-spirit, 112, 113 

University of Pennsylvania expedition, 12 
Unpierced cylinder seal with a lion, 

No. 44, 70, 73 
Unpierced cylinder seal with bulls and 

lion, No. 40, 70, 71, 72, 73 

Index | 315 

Unpierced cylinder seal with caprids 

and trees. No. 45, 70, 74, 158 
Unpierced cylinder seal with horned 

animals, No. 43, 70, 73 
Unpierced cylinder seal with lion and 

bull, No. 41, 70 , 72 
Untash-Napirisha, 9, 10, 11, 23, 107, 124, 

126, 130, 132, 156, 157, 202, 259 
Igi-halkid king, 121, 123 
stele, 10, 118, 125, 127-30, 131, 132, 134, 

146, 148 
Unvala, J. M., 282 

upat aktinni (faience-glazed bricks), 123 
Ur, 7, 111, 119, 120, 144, 161, 212, 230, 262 

jewelry from, 242 

Neo-Sumerian kings of, 7 

prepared bitumen found at, 100 

royal cemetery at, 212 

royal tomb of Meskalamdug at, 149 

Third Dynasty, 87, 96, 153, 171, 183, 
*55/ 257 

Ur III empire, 81, 94, 114, 169 
Urartu, 280 
Urmia,, Lake, 12 

Ur-Nammu, 81, 87, 169, 171, 257, 262 

stone stele of, 169, 171 

Sumerian Law Code of, 169 
Ur-ningizzida, 172 
Urtaku, Elamite king, 270 
Uruk (Erech, Warka), 4, 21, 28, 34, 47, 48, 

96, 143. See also Late Uruk period 
Uruk period. See Late Uruk period 
U-tik, priestess, 128 , 129 

Vallat, Francois, 120, 130, 157 

vase a la cachette, 108, 109, 110 

Versailles, 281, 283, 285 

Vessel fragment with bison, No. 67, 104 

Vessel in the shape of a bag, No. 36, 66 
Vessel with bull-men and caprids, No. 

66, 104 

Vessel with three necks and an animal 

head, No. 35, 65 
Victory stele of Naram-Sin, No. 109, 

112, 122, 125, 159, 161, 162, 166-68, 

169, 281, 285 
Village Perse-Achemenide (Achaemenid 

Village), 22 
Ville des Artisans (Susa mound), 21, 22, 214 
Ville Haute (Acropole), 123 
Ville Royale (Susa mound), 21, 22, 126, 221, 

2 7 2 

cylinder seals found, 212 
mathematical tablets found, 276-77-78 
Ville Royale A, 23, 24, 206, 208 
Ville Royale B, 23, 24 
Ville Royale I and II, 24, 203, 208 
Votive boulder of Puzur-Inshushinak, 

No. 54, 87, 88-90, 262 
Votive mace with mastiff heads, No. 
57 > 93 

Walser, Gerald, 240 
Warka. See Uruk 
weights, bronze, 221-22 
wheel, invention of, 48 
Whetstone with lion head, No. 91, 149 
whetstones, frequent finds of, 149 
Wiggermann, Franz, 112, 113 
Williams, Col. W. E., 16 
winged sun disks, 224, 228, 229, 230, 252, 

Woman and man on a bed, No. 135, 184, 

Worshiper(s), Nos. 50, 93, 94, 83-84, 
150, 151 

Worshiper (s) carrying a bird, Nos. 92, 

95> 150' 151 
Worshiper with a vessel, No. 32, 63-64 
worshipers, statuettes of, 5-6 
wreaths, 238 
Wright, H. T., 100 

Akkadian, 81, 89, 90, 121, 253, 254, 262, 


alphabetic script, 52 
Aramaic, 221 

beginnings of, 4, 49, 52-53 

cuneiform, 7, 221, 253, 254, 262, 263, 277 

development of, 7 

Egyptian hieroglyphics, 253 

linear Elamite, 8, 89, 90, 121, 262, 263, 267 

Proto-Cuneiform script, 52, 53, 68, 70 

Proto-Elamite script, 47, 52, 53, 68, 70, 

77-78, 87, 126 
Uruk possible locus of invention, 52, 53 
Wypyski, Mark, 287 

Xerxes, 25, 216, 217, 220, 242 
palace in Persepolis, 230 

Yale Babylonian Collection, 119 

Zagros Mountains, 1, 2, 13, 81, 82, 254 

at Chogha Zanbil, 121, 130, 135, 138, 149, 

at Susa, 9-10, 23, 126, 139, 145, 271 


Figures 1-2. By Wilhelmina Reyinga- 

Figure 3. After Carter and Stolper, 1984, 

fig. 13 ; courtesy of University of 

California Press. Redrawn by 

Wilhelmina Reyinga-Amrhein 
Figure 4. Musee du Louvre, Reunion des 

Musees Nationaux 
Figure 5. The Photograph Studio, The 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Figure 6. From Delaporte, 1920, p. 57, 

no. S 462; courtesy of Editions Hachette 
Figure 7. From Amiet, 1966, p. 149, 

fig. 108; Archee Editeur 
Figure 8. Photograph courtesy of 

Edith Porada 
Figure 9. From Hinz, 1969, p. 16, pi. 5; 

Walter de Gruyter & Co. 
Figure 10. From Vanden Berghe, 1983, 

p. 28, fig. 2; Musees Royaux dArt et 

Figure 11. Aerofilms Ltd. 
Figure 12. From Orthmann, 1975 , 

fig. 292a; Propylaen Verlag 
Figure 13. From Amiet, i976d, figs. 3 

and 22; Ecole Franchise d'Extreme- 


Figure 14. From Vanden Berghe, 1983, 

pi. 2; Musees Royaux dArt et d'Histoire 
Figure 15. Elizabeth Le Breton 
Figure 16. From Walser, 1980, p. 46, 
fig. 40; courtesy of Ernst Wasmuth 

Figure 17. Musee du Louvre, Reunion des 

Musees Nationaux 
Figure 18. Elizabeth Le Breton 
Figure 19. From L' Illustration, no. 3075 

(February 4, 1902), p. 69 
Figure 20. The British Museum 
Figure 21. Photograph by Marcel 

Dieulafoy; courtesy of Departement des 

Antiquites Orientales, Musee du Louvre 
Figure 22. Elizabeth Le Breton 
Figure 23. Frank Hole 
Figure 24. From Jacques de Morgan, La 

prehistoire orientale, vol. 3 (Paris, 

1925-27), p. 52, fig. 65; courtesy of Paul 

Figure 25. From Amiet, 1971, fig. 35, 

no. 2; courtesy of Association Paleorient 
Figure 26. From C. Zervos, Uart de la 

Mesopotamie (Paris, 1935), p. 62, center; 

Editions "Carriers dArt" 
Figure 27. From Amiet, 1976c, pi. 17; 

courtesy of Association Paleorient 
Figure 28. From Amiet, 1988b, p. 43, 

fig. 15; Editions de la Reunion des 

Musees Nationaux 
Figure 29. The Photograph Studio, The 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Figure 30. Photograph by Patty Wallace, 

The Brooklyn Museum, New York 
Figures 31, 32. From Andre and Salvini, 

1989, p. 54, fig. 1, and pi. 4a; courtesy of 


Figure 33. From Amiet, 1966, p. 214, 

fig. 157; Archee Editeur 
Figure 34. From Amiet, 1988b, p. 78, 

fig. 37; Editions de la Reunion des 

Musees Nationaux 
Figure 35. Musee du Louvre, Reunion des 

Musees Nationaux 
Figure 36. Photograph courtesy of The 

Oriental Institute of The University of 


Figure 37. The Photograph Studio, The 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Figure 38. From W. G. Lambert, 1979, 

pi. 5, no. 42E; courtesy of Durham 

University Oriental Museum 
Figure 39. From Mazzoni, 1975, pi. 2, 

fig. 1; Istituto Orientale de Napoli 
Figure 40. From Miroschedji, 1981a, pi. 2, 

no. 5; courtesy of Peeters 
Figure 41. Plan based on Mecquenem, 

1911a; redrawn by Denise Hoffman and 

Wilhelmina Reyinga-Amrhein 
Figure 42. Drawing by D. Ladiray; from 

Miroschedji, 1981a, pi. 8; courtesy of 


Figure 43. Redrawn by Rachael Perkins 
Figure 44. Musee du Louvre, Reunion des 

Musees Nationaux 
Figure 45 . Gustave Jequier 
Figure 46. Drawing by Caroline Florimont 
Figure 47. From Parrot, 1961, p. 229, 

fig. 282; courtesy of Western Publishing 

Co., Inc. 

Figure 48. Cincinnati Art Museum 
Figure 49. The Photograph Studio, The 

Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Figure 50. Iran Bastan Museum, Teheran 
Figure 51. Drawing by Caroline Florimont 
Figure 52. From Walser, 1980, p. 97, 

fig. 104; courtesy of Ernst Wasmuth 


Figure 53 . Photograph by Lewis S. 

Callaghan, gift of Mrs. Lewis S. 

Figure 54. From Morgan, 1905a, pi. 2; 

courtesy of Presses Universitaires de 


Figure 55. Vaughn E. Crawford 
Figure 56. From Amiet, 1966, p. 445, 

fig. 340; Archee Editeur 
Figure 57. The Pierpont Morgan Library, 

New York 
Figure 58. Matthew W. Stolper 
Figure 59. Drawing by Caroline Florimont 
Figure 60. From Mecquenem, 1947, fig. 8; 

courtesy of Presses Universitaires de 


Figures 61, 62. Service de Restau ration des 

Musees de France 
Drawing of Number 17 and photograph for 

Number 41 from Amiet, 1972a, pi. 2, no. 

231 and pi. 102, no. 949; courtesy of 

Presses Universitaires de France 
Photograph for Number 39 (impression) 

from Rutten, 1936, p. 68, no. 15; 

Editions "Tel" 
Photograph for Number 107, Musee du 

Louvre, Reunion des Musees Nationaux